News & Politics

Just the Beginning: Ten Afghan Evacuees Detained as National Security Risks

(AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

The Biden administration is giving America gifts that will keep on giving for generations to come, and one of the foremost of these gifts is the newly-arrived group of Afghan evacuees: 70,000 are now in the U.S., and the total number is expected to exceed 124,000 before long. One of Biden’s handlers, unnamed in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal report, has admitted that ten of these evacuees have already been detained as risks to national security. Only ten out of 70,000 isn’t bad, right? Sure. But Biden’s handlers’ catastrophic mishandling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan makes it virtually certain that there will be many more.

The reasons for this are clear. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted in late September that 60,000 Afghans had been brought to the United States by that time, including nearly 8,000 who were American citizens or residents of the country, and 1,800 had Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) issued to them for aiding the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

What about the rest? Mayorkas explained:

Of the over 60,000 individuals who have been brought into the United States [from Afghanistan]—and I will give you approximate figures and I will verify them, approximately 7 percent have been United States citizens. Approximately 6 percent have been lawful permanent residents. Approximately 3 percent have been individuals who are in receipt of the Special Immigrant Visas. The balance of that population are individuals whose applications have not yet been processed for approval who may qualify as SIVs and have not yet applied, who qualify or would qualify—I should say—as P-1 or P-2 refugees who have been employed by the United States government in Afghanistan and are otherwise vulnerable Afghan nationals, such as journalists, human rights advocates, et cetera.

The upshot of this is that over eighty percent of the Afghan evacuees were neither American citizens nor SIV holders. So who are they? No one knows. Certainly Biden’s handlers don’t. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) recently discovered that 12,000 of the Afghans who were sent to Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar and then went on to the U.S. were not just “individuals whose applications have not yet been processed for approval,” as Mayorkas put it, but had no identification at all. Issa stated: “They came with nothing. No Afghan I.D., no I.D. of any sorts. Those people were all forwarded on to the U.S., and that’s quite an admission. So many people had no I.D. whatsoever and yet find themselves in the United States today based on what they said.”

This is no reason to be concerned, say Biden’s handlers. Another (or maybe the same one quoted before) unnamed “senior official” in the Biden administration assured the Wall Street Journal that “the use of biometric and biographic data was a robust screening strategy, as the U.S. had decades to build up databases of information related to national security threats and crime. The official said it was sufficient to address the lack of paperwork or other identifying information.” The official downplayed any risk: “In the case of Afghanistan, we had quite a lot [of data] because we’ve spent almost 20 years in the country. It was actually a particularly rich set of information in those various databases.”

National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne added: “The fact that some have been flagged by our counterterrorism, intelligence, or law enforcement professionals for additional screening shows our system is working. Many of the same people criticizing us for bringing in Afghans were on TV calling for us to evacuate as many Afghans as possible in August.”

Related: As Trump Warns of Terrorism From Afghan Refugees, Some in GOP Look for Ways to Welcome Them

There are, as you no doubt already realize, not a few flies in this ointment. The Journal also noted that “federal officials interviewed at U.S. bases overseas stated to Republican aides that they didn’t have any training in identifying fraudulent Afghan documents, raising concerns about the validity of documents that were used.” As a result, several Afghans were able to board a flight in Mazar-e-Sharif with fraudulent documents. They were caught, but how many others weren’t? “There were several people who were traveling with fake passports,” the Biden wonk admitted. However, relax: “They did not have Taliban affiliation.”

Great. But the number of evacuees who have already aroused suspicion is greater than the ten who have been flagged as national security risks. The Washington Post reported on September 10 that “the Department of Homeland Security flagged 44 Afghan evacuees as potential national security risks during the past two weeks as the government screened tens of thousands for resettlement in the United States.”

Not only is the potential for deception virtually limitless when dealing with people who have absolutely no identification; it also must be borne in mind that these people have come from a jihadi hotspot and that ISIS, which has a significant presence in Afghanistan, has repeatedly told its operatives in the West to affect Western clothing and a secular outward appearance in order to fool gullible security officials. And Biden’s security apparatus is so very eager to be fooled, it even denies the ideological and theological basis of Islamic jihad terrorism. How, then, can it vet for it? It can’t. And that means that these ten evacuees who have been detained are only the beginning.