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Defense Department Halts Evacuation of Afghan Visa Applicants Amid Terror Threat

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Amid terror concerns, the Defense Department has asked congressional staff to stop sending evacuation requests on behalf of some Afghans whose work for the U.S. during the war may now put them at risk of Taliban reprisals, according to two people familiar with the order.

The directive, issued Wednesday night by the Defense Department’s Afghanistan Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation, applies to applicants for Special Immigrant Visas, a congressional official and a U.S. military contractor told The Intercept. Among the Afghans applying for such visas are military interpreters and others who helped the U.S. government. The Intercept recently reported that the Taliban has seized biometrics devices that contain identifying information about Afghans who may have assisted coalition forces.

The Defense Department, which controls the Kabul airport, issued the guidance to congressional officials working under the House Armed Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees certain immigration matters.

A Judiciary Committee spokesperson said they are unaware of members receiving the notice. The Defense Department and House Armed Services Committee did not immediately respond to a........

© The Intercept

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