- Civilian-run groups are still evacuating US citizens and visa holders from Afghanistan after the military withdrawals.
- An activist for one such group told Insider they’ve had no problems negotiating with the Taliban.
- She said the Taliban are helping because they “want Americans out.”
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An activist helping with the ongoing evacuations of remaining US citizens and visa holders from Kabul, Afghanistan, has said that the Taliban were helping the missions because they “don’t want Americans in their country anyway.”
Project Dynamo is among a handful of civilian-run organizations that have continued evacuation efforts from Afghanistan after foreign forces fully withdrew from the country on or before August 31.
The team has taken on a “massive undertaking” in recent weeks, sifting through the travel documents of some 30,000 people who have applied for help to leave the country, Project Dynamo volunteer Jen Wilson told Insider.
After confirming the paperwork for those eligible to enter the US, the group has to communicate with the Taliban to receive clearance, Wilson said.
She said the process has been a lot easier than expected.
“They want Americans out,” she said, referring to the Taliban. “So when it comes to us moving Americans out of the country, they’re happy to assist. They don’t want Americans in their country anyway.”
At the peak of evacuations in August, Taliban fighters were seen at various Kabul airport checkpoints beating and threatening people who were trying to leave, including an Afghan UN worker after searching his car and finding his staff identification.
But Wilson said “there have been no problems at all” with Project Dynamo’s passengers.
“The Taliban have not been adversarial with us or threatening with us,” she said. “There were no problems with hitting and beating, the things that we saw in the early days when the military was still there.”
“The Taliban knew we were coming, they knew it was Americans, and they gave us safe passage.”
Last week Project Dynamo successfully evacuated more than 100 US citizens, green card holders, and Special Immigrant Visa holders from Kabul to Chicago.
But the journey took longer than expected after the Department of Homeland Security initially barred the plane from entering the US, citing a lengthy screening process and a measles outbreak as causes for concern.
The group, which included 59 children, was left stranded at Abu Dhabi airport for more than 24 hours with little food and having to sleep on floors.
The US has evacuated more than 122,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14, the day before the Taliban seized control of Kabul, according to a Sky News tracker. It is not clear how many have been evacuated since the August 31 military withdrawal deadline.