Department of Homeland Security

US to send two Afghan evacuees to Kosovo for further evaluation: report

Afghan refugees displaced from their homes due to the Taliban takeover arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., on Monday, August 30, 2021.
Greg Nash

The U.S. is sending two Afghan evacuees to Kosovo for further evaluation after arriving in the U.S., two sources with knowledge of the evacuations told NBC News.

“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,” a senior federal law enforcement official told the outlet.

“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,” the person added.

The sources told the outlet the two will be sent to Kosovo due to something in their profile raising enough concern to warrant further review, but it does not mean the people were sent back due to fear of terror threats.

From the evacuations, 30,000 Afghans are now in the U.S. with 10,000 undergoing additional screening, 100 under review for possibly having connections to the Taliban and only two sent to Kosovo for more evaluations, according to the sources.

Many of the Afghan evacuees have been coming to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.

The U.S. does additional screenings once evacuees arrive in the U.S. although most have been vetted multiple times before flying to the country.

Some of the additional screenings found individuals who had criminal offenses for which they were previously deported, according to the sources. 

The Department of Homeland Security has not decided what to do with those individuals yet, according to NBC News.

A State Department spokesperson did not comment on the specific two individuals who were sent to Kosovo, but said, “those unable to immediately enter the United States are moved to third countries for further processing.”

“We are grateful to the growing global network of countries that have provided critical assistance for our evacuation efforts,” the spokesperson said.

“Most at-risk Afghans will remain in transit hubs for periods of up to 10-14 days while we make arrangements to relocate them to the United States,” they added.

Thousands of Afghan allies were evacuated from Afghanistan, with many have special immigrant visas for the U.S. for their work with the U.S. government. 

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security for comment.

Updated: 9:33 p.m.
Tags Afghan evacuees Kosovo
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