Jonathan Dienst et al., NBC News, September 3, 2021
The U.S. plans to send at least two Afghan evacuees back out of the country to Kosovo because of security concerns raised after they arrived at a U.S. airport, said two sources familiar with the U.S. evacuation.
The Afghans will undergo a further review in Kosovo.
“A lot of people were moved very quickly and the intelligence community has been working hard to evaluate whether any of them pose a threat,” said a senior federal law enforcement official. “Some of the vetting occurs while they are overseas, and some of it occurs here … We are not going to allow people to intentionally be released into the community if they have unresolved derogatory information.”
Any other evacuees who trigger similar concerns will also be sent to Kosovo, said the sources.
Of more than 30,000 evacuees from Afghanistan to the U.S., about 10,000 needed additional screening as of Friday, said the sources, and of those about 100 were flagged for possible ties to the Taliban or terror groups. Two of those 100 raised enough concern for additional review.
Other evacuees who are currently being evaluated in the D.C. area were found to have been deported from the U.S. previously for past criminal offenses, said two sources briefed on the data. The Department of Homeland Security is now deciding what to do with the individuals.