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Editorial: Bring Mark Frerichs home from Afghanistan

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06.09.2021

President Joe Biden’s vow to Americans left behind in Afghanistan — “We will get you home” — rings hollow to the family of Lombard resident Mark Frerichs.

The 59-year-old civilian contractor and Navy veteran was abducted by Taliban-linked militants in late January of last year.

While little is known about the circumstances of his abduction, U.S. officials said they believed he was kidnapped by members of the Haqqani network, a militant group aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and believed to be responsible for some of the highest-profile terrorist attacks of the war. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the Obama administration in 2012.

Uncertainty remains over who exactly has abducted Frerichs and where he is. No formal demands have been made, and no group is known to have claimed responsibility for his abduction.

In the days following the abduction, Navy commandos raided a village and detained suspected Haqqani members but failed to find Frerichs, according to news reports. U.S. officials believed he was held for a time in Khost, a mountainous eastern province along the border with Pakistan and a historical haven for Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Navy SEALs and U.S. intelligence agencies searched for leads before the trail went cold, an Associated Press investigation found.

In May 2020, the FBI released a poster in multiple languages seeking information in........

© Chicago Tribune


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