State Police: 3 Missing Afghan Soldiers in Custody

Bob Salsberg, ABC News, September 22, 2014

Three Afghanistan National Army officers who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base were detained Monday at the U.S.-Canadian border, Massachusetts law enforcement officials said.

Massachusetts state police were notified that the three were being questioned by federal authorities at Rainbow Bridge, which connects Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, said spokesman David Procopio, who did not have further details.

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Military officials said the Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen Saturday at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis during an off day.

The soldiers were reported missing by base security personnel Saturday night. They were identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar.

{snip}

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier that 14 Afghans taking part in the Cape Cod military exercise were “thoroughly vetted” prior to coming to the U.S., so officials do not believe they are a threat.

The Regional Cooperation training exercises have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation and interoperability among forces, build functional capacity, practice peacekeeping operations and enhance readiness.

This year’s exercise, which involves more than 200 participants from six nations including the U.S., is scheduled to wrap up Wednesday. Military officials from Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are also participants.

Procopio said state police considered it to be a missing persons case, because there was no information that any crimes had been committed.

On Thursday, two members of an elite Afghan police unit were picked up in the Buffalo, New York-area after going missing from a five-week training program they had been attending with 29 other police officers in Quantico, Virginia

Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said the police officers were being returned to Afghanistan on Monday. The rest of the class left as scheduled on Friday.

{snip}

“They were held and returned. They were not a security threat, not a danger. They were not armed. They were just looking for a better life,” Payne said.

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  • These Afghanis were, according to the news source I read, were on an expedition “to introduce them to cultural aspects of American life” when they disappeared. Turns out the expedition was to a shopping mall. Sure thing, because “cultural aspects of American life” means the shopping mall. Incidentally, lots of malls are dying or are on hard times.

    They wanted to seek asylum in Canada. I don’t know whether to take it as good news that they didn’t want to stay here or bad news that they now think that Canada is a better option.

  • JackKrak

    What possible reason could there be to take these guys out of the native hellhole and bring them to the U.S.? What could we not “teach” them there in their own little filthy, backwards corner of the most God-forsaken patch of land on this Earth?

  • MekongDelta69

    Was one of them Major Nidal Hasan?

    Jes’ axin’…

  • dmxinc

    Our boys will die while our government lets millions from those country get “a better life” here.

    Insane, but our volunteers and the rest of our society haven’t caught onto this fact yet.

  • If these Afghan MUSLIMS were plotting something, the government wouldn’t tell the truth about it anyway. We MUST stick to the lie that the Afghans are our friends and allies.

  • Adolf Verloc

    If I were an Afghan army officer in the same position, I’d go for it too. When (not if) the Taliban takes over, these guys and their families will suffer unspeakable fates. I’m afraid they and a lot of people are saying that when things get tough, America’s position is like the character in “Animal House” – “You fucked up – you trusted us!”

    • IstvanIN

      Perhaps we should stay out of other peoples affairs.

  • Paleoconn

    Pretty sad, but it makes sense; in Canada the have less competition for racial spoils.