Forty-four Afghan evacuees trying to flee to the United States have been flagged by Homeland Security as potential national security risks, according to a new report.
They were identified during the US government’s screening process amid the mass evacuations out of Kabul over the last two weeks, vetting records obtained by the Washington Post show.
Of the 44 on the Homeland Security list, 16 people were not cleared to travel to the US at all and remain in overseas transit sites.
Thirteen remain in the custody of Customs and Border Protection so they can undergo additional screening and reviews.
Another 15 were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and were either sent back to the Middle East or Europe, or were released in the US after additional reviews.
Some of the 44 Afghans flagged had suspected ties to terrorists or had suspicious information on their phones, the report says.
Two other Afghans were flagged because they’d previously been deported from the US.
One had a sexual assault conviction from 2010 and the other was convicted for armed robbery in 2011. Both are currently in ICE custody, according to the vetting records.
More than 60,000 evacuees have arrived in the US since Aug. 17 since the evacuations ramped up.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has so far refused to give a specific number for how many Afghans had been turned away during the screening process.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said…
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