Evacuated Afghan Refugees Tied to ISIS, 100 More Flagged: U.S. Department of Defense

Up to 100 evacuees have been flagged for further scrutiny during the more comprehensive screening they received at their first stop after Afghanistan: reports.

  • Security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have detected that at least one of the Afghans who was evacuated from Kabul Airport has potential ties to ISIS, a U.S. official confirmed to Defense One.
  • The evacuee “looks like a potential member of ISIS,” said one official. “They’re still working that through.”
  • The Defense Departments Automated Biometric Identification System has also flagged up to 100 of the 7,000 Afghans evacuated as prospective recipients of Special Immigration Visas as potential matches to intelligence agency watch lists, another official said.
  • At least 6,000 fleeing Afghans have been evacuated to Al Udeid and thousands more have been flown to other temporary staging bases throughout the Middle East and Europe by U.S. military aircraft, notes Defense One.
  • Customs and Border Patrol screeners at those bases check evacuees’ IDs and biometric data against law enforcement databases.
  • Thousands of those Afghans will come to the United States, where they will be initially housed at several military bases, such as Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and Fort Lee in Virginia. 
  • A Pentagon official told The Daily Caller the number of Afghan refugees flagged for questionable connections, such as connections to attacks against U.S. or coalition forces, is “0.5% or more.”
  • Joe Biden estimated during an interview published Aug 19 that between 50,000 to 65,000 Afghans must be evacuated.
  • This means that roughly 250-325 of these could be flagged.
  • “With large numbers of people coming from Afghanistan, where we know there is significant Al-Qaida and ISIS-K presence, it’s highly likely that in some cases, these really sophisticated terrorists may attempt to enter the country as infiltrators,” the Pentagon official said. “Within that population of half a percent, some are likely to be tied to Al-Qaida or ISIS-K, and those are designated terrorist organizations,” the official added.