Thomas Gallatin / September 2, 2021

The Problem With Thousands of Afghan Refugees

Biden’s debacle may bring terrorists stateside while leaving allies behind.

One of the looming ramifications of Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan pullout is the potential of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil carried out by a few jihadis who may have infiltrated the ranks of the thousands of Afghan allies the U.S. hurriedly worked to extradite prior to the August 31 deadline. The U.S. evacuated about 120,000 people since the end of July, including roughly 6,000 Americans. In his self-contradictory speech Tuesday, Joe Biden happily boasted about this “extraordinary success.” That might be a bit premature.

Due to Biden’s malfeasance in pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before ensuring that all Americans and genuine Afghan allies were safely, orderly, and completely removed from the country, the Taliban quickly swept back into power. That not only forced the U.S. to scramble and negotiate from a weakened position, but it left the entire country under enemy control while the U.S. tried to figure out who to evacuate.

This debacle cost the lives of 13 American Patriots and more than a hundred Afghan civilians. And the sad reality is that it may indirectly lead to the loss of more American lives. How so? As Kenneth Gray of the University of New Haven, Connecticut, explained: “The threat of having Islamic State or al Qaeda come into the country is not increased through the southwest border. It’s the entry of al Qaeda and Islamic State in the groups of refugees that are being taken out of Afghanistan and possibly to the United States because of the lack of vetting procedures that would normally go on to expedite getting all of these people out of Afghanistan.”

In the rush to evacuate as many Americans and Afghan allies as possible, the U.S. State Department passed out blank Special Immigrant Visa forms. And as Gray noted, “When you provide blank visas without specific names already on them and without going through the vetting process, don’t be surprised when you end up with ISIS or al Qaeda showing up with those visas in hand.”

Because the situation in Afghanistan was rushed, and with the Taliban surrounding (uh, we mean “securing”) the only means of escape at the Kabul airport, verification became a secondary issue. How do we know these Afghans are who they claim to be? How do we know which ones are terrorists incognito? The short answer is that, in many cases, we don’t know. Yet now the Biden administration is looking to bring in some 50,000 Afghan refugees into the U.S. Roughly 20,000 are already here, with the balance at U.S. military installations overseas.

To be clear, those Afghans who put their lives on the line fighting alongside the U.S. and against the Taliban should be welcomed here. They’ve earned it. But Joe Biden betrayed tens of thousands of them by leaving them behind. In fact, among the abandoned is a man who in 2008 helped rescue several U.S. senators, including Joe Biden. “Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed said. “Don’t forget me here.”

In fact, despite Biden’s boasting, his State Department admits the U.S. left behind a majority of our allies. Next time we need help within a hostile country, who’s going to trust us? Instead, they’ll tell us to pound sand.

As Mark Alexander wrote yesterday: “Assuming the American citizens Biden abandoned behind enemy lines get out safe, this war is far from over for the Afghan allies we left behind, some 80,000 of whom were already approved ‘special immigration visa’ holders, and who will now be targeted for extinction. And this war is far from over for those who will become targets of violence perpetrated the Taliban’s terrorist surrogates worldwide in the coming years.”

So who were the evacuees? “The U.S. still doesn’t have reliable data on who was evacuated, nor for what type of visas they may qualify,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

The “extraordinary success” colossal failure of Biden’s abandonment leaves the trouble of determining who is friend and who is foe. The last thing America needs is a terrorist posing as an Afghan refugee launching a terror attack on U.S. soil — perhaps even on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11. Yet that might be exactly what Biden’s blunder will bring.

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