Afghan evacuees at U.S. military base charged with domestic violence, sexual abuse of minors

One Afghan evacuee being held at an American military base in Wisconsin tried to coerce two young boys into having sex with him, while another tried to strangle his wife, federal officials said in charging documents unsealed this week.

The men, Bahrullah Noori and Mohammad Haroon Imaad, were arraigned Thursday and entered pleas of “not guilty.”

The charges appear to be the first lodged against recent Afghanistan evacuees who have reached the U.S.

In this case, both men were among 13,000 evacuees at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, one of a number of military bases holding tens of thousands of Afghans airlifted out of Kabul last month in the chaotic scramble to meet President Biden’s withdrawal deadline.

“When you bring tens of thousands of Afghans into American communities now and ask questions later, as President Biden has done, bad things are bound to happen,” said Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Wisconsin Republican who has been tracking developments at Fort McCoy.

“This is why I raised concerns about the White House’s loose vetting policies early on. Unfortunately I don’t think this will be the last time we see something like this,” he said.

Mr. Noori, 20, repeatedly tried to get two boys, cousins aged 12 and 14, to have sex, and cajoled them into touching him, according to court documents.

The father of one of the boys reported the incident after hearing his nephew crying in the bathroom and found Mr. Noori twisting the boy’s hand to try to force him. The boy, through a translator, later told investigators Mr. Noori told him to “give me your ass.”

The other boy told investigators he too was accosted in the bathroom and that Mr. Noori also regularly tried to get the boy into his cot.

In one bathroom incident, Mr. Noori told the boy to “give me your ass or I’ll beat you.” When the boy pulled away Mr. Noori bit him on the cheek, the court documents allege. Agents aid they did observe a slight discoloration to the boy’s cheek.

Both boys said Mr. Noori had been “doing this kind of thing for the last couple of weeks,” and they’d been told not to say anything or he would beat them, an FBI agent said in an affidavit.

Mr. Noori was indicted on multiple charges of attempted sex with a juvenile between 12 and 15, including one by force.

In separate charges, Mr. Imaad, 32, is accused of assaulting his wife by trying to strangle or suffocate her.

The woman told investigators at the base that Mr. Imaad raped her, and he told her he would send her back to Afghanistan “where the Taliban could deal with her,” the FBI agent wrote.

Through an interpreter, she told investigators Mr. Imaad tried to choke her while at the base and said he “beat me many times in Afghanistan to the point I lost vision in both eyes.”

The wife, identified only by initials B.I., also said Mr. Imaad struck their children.

At his arraignment Thursday Mr. Imaad asked for an “extremely expedited” schedule, the judge said. Jury selection and trial are slated to start Nov. 1.

Mr. Noori‘s case is particularly striking, given worries over the practice of adult men in Afghanistan making juvenile boys their sexual companions — known as “bacha bazi,” which translates roughly to “boy play.”

Some analysts have warned that the practice will likely increase under the Taliban in Afghanistan, and wondered whether it would reach the U.S. through the evacuees.

More broadly, security experts have complained about the massive numbers involved in the airlift, warning that there’s little chance to do significant vetting.

Biden administration officials have acknowledged that forced child brides were brought to the U.S. by men in the airlift.

The Washington Times has also reported on a convicted rapist and a convicted aggravated robber who made it through overseas vetting and reached the U.S. Both of them were flagged by a Customs and Border Protection officer at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The airlift was sold to the public as a chance to evacuate Afghans who assisted the two-decade U.S. war effort, though Biden officials now say they brought out people who don’t qualify under that category, but who still needed evacuation.

The administration has been unable to detail the number of people who did assist the U.S. effort, versus those who were airlifted out for other reasons.

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Afghan Suicide Bomber Was Released From CIA Jail When US Forces Abandoned Bagram Air Base – RedState

When a suicide bomber blew himself up at a US military control point on the fringes of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing 11 Marines, one sailor, and one soldier, and he created the third highest single-day casualty total for the entire 20-year war (see Yesterday Was One of the Bloodiest Days in the Afghan War Because of the Choices Joe Biden Made and He Owns the Outcome). He also set in motion a sequence of events that eventually resulted in the United States killing ten civilians, seven of them children, in a drone attack that was to ostensibly destroy another suicide bomb threat and added ignominy to the already disgraceful US exit from Afghanistan.

Now an Indian outlet, Firstpost, is reporting that the bomber was in US custody at Bagram Air Base up until our unmanly and precipitous flight on July 5 when we fled from that critical installation without bothering to tell our Afghan allies that we were leaving:

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.

Afghanistan’s army showed off the sprawling air base Monday, providing a rare first glimpse of what had been the epicenter of America’s war to unseat the Taliban and hunt down the al-Qaida perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on America.

The U.S. announced Friday it had completely vacated its biggest airfield in the country in advance of a final withdrawal the Pentagon says will be completed by the end of August.

“We (heard) some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram … and finally by seven o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander said.

The Taliban subsequently seized Bagram on August 15, and thousands of prisoners returned to action. Here is Pentagon goof John Kirby admitting that the US military didn’t know how many prisoners were freed, but they numbered in the “thousands.”

This is the story:

The Islamic State suicide bomber who killed at least 169 Afghan civilians and 13 United States soldiers outside Kabul airport last month was incarcerated in Afghanistan’s notorious Bagram prison for the past four years, thanks to Indian efforts, Firstpost has learnt through credible intelligence sources.

Senior Indian intelligence sources familiar with the case have told Firstpost that he was handed over to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency by the Research and Analysis Wing in September 2017. However, the jihadist walked free on 15 August along with thousands of other dangerous terrorists held in the high-security prison, taking advantage of the chaos that ensued in the aftermath of the United State’s hurried exit and the Taliban’s swift takeover of the entire country.

Identified as Abdul Rehman, the jihadist was a former student of an engineering college in India and hailed from Afghanistan’s Logar province. He was the son of an Afghan merchant who frequently visited India for business.

His arrest had led to the termination of a plot by the Islamic State of Khurasan Province (IS-K) — the Islamic State’s regional wing in Afghanistan — to stage suicide bombings in New Delhi and other cities across the region, probably on the behest of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).

“America’s disorganised retreat from Afghanistan has led to hundreds of highly-competent and highly-committed terrorists being set free to rejoin the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” one officer who worked on the Abdul Rehman case said.

“Literally a decade’s work on counter-terrorism has been undone by the US’ failure to secure key prisoners in Bagram,” he said adding that the consequences of this failure will be “very far-reaching.”

There is nothing in this story that is implausible. It is well documented that both the Taliban and ancillary terror groups operating in Afghanistan were supplied and armed by Pakistan’s ISI. Somehow we never had the guts at a national level to call out Pakistan over its role as a sponsor of transnational terrorism, even when Osama bin Laden was found hiding in the same city as the Pakistani national military academy. For all intents and purposes, our real enemy in Afghanistan since 2003 has been Pakistan. We know “thousands” of enemy combatants were returned to the field after Bagram fell to the Taliban. Firstpost’s claim that Abdul Rehman was gifted to the CIA by the Indian R&AW implies that he was in the CIA-run clandestine detention facility at Bagram. Rehman was already committed to being a suicide bomber when the Indians rounded him up and that conviction probably hardened while in prison. In fact, the US flight from Afghanistan could very well have prompted Rehman’s attack out of the fear that the war was ending and he had missed his chance for martyrdom.

On the other hand, India, particularly Indian intelligence operatives, has a vested interest in attaching more stench to Pakistan than already exists. If they can stick the deaths of 13 Americans on ISI, there is no reason for them not to do so. So, on the whole, my gut feeling is that this story is credible, and it is entirely possible that we had the HKIA suicide bomber in custody and let him go with devastating results.

Like so many other aspects of our shameful conduct during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, this cries out for investigation. If this story is true, someone at the CIA needs to explain how this came to be.

 





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Kabul Airport Suicide Bomber Who Murdered 13 Americans Was Set Free from Bagram Prison After Joe Biden Abandoned the US Base in July #BidenEffect




Kabul Airport Suicide Bomber Who Murdered 13 Americans Was Set Free from Bagram Prison After Joe Biden Abandoned the US Base in July #BidenEffect




















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Is the World’s Biggest Navy Base Sinking?

Here’s What You Need to Know: The problem extends beyond the base itself. Residents of Norfolk have grown extremely concerned about the prospects of sea level rise—and especially of increased flooding.

What if the U.S. Navy’s main base in Norfolk, Virginia sinks?

It could happen. And it’s not an isolated problem, as climate change alters coastlines all over the world.

A report from the American Security Project identifies Naval Station Norfolk as America’s fifth most endangered military base. The report also lists Eglin in Florida, Diego Garcia, Bahrain and Guam as being particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Probably more than any other service—and possibly more than any other government agency—the Navy has taken climate change seriously. The sailing branch is making a long-term commitment to biofuels project as part of its Green Fleet initiative.

The Navy’s interest isn’t accidental.

If accompanied by the melting of Arctic ice and rising sea levels, climate change could dramatically affect how the Navy does its job. Global warming has the potential to open up new areas for patrol, but it also puts littoral populations at risk of humanitarian disaster.

Littoral populations, including the Navy’s own people.

No American naval installation is more important than Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world. Norfolk services the Navy’s largest carriers and amphibious warships and also functions as a major naval air center. The loss of Norfolk or—just as important—the loss of the workforce’s homes, would have devastating consequences.

In addition to a general rise in sea levels, climate change could create much more powerful storms. One from the Army Corps of Engineers study suggested that such storms could devastate Norfolk.

The problem extends beyond the base itself. Residents of Norfolk have grown extremely concerned about the prospects of sea level rise—and especially of increased flooding. Since 2000, flooding has intensified dramatically, and most climate models suggest that the trend will continue. By 2100, flood levels could increase by five feet or more.

The Army Corps of Engineers study examined the extent to which Norfolk needed the broader civilian infrastructure—and how vulnerable that infrastructure would become to storm and flood damage in context of higher sea levels. In short, severe flooding would badly damage the infrastructure upon which Naval Station Norfolk depends.

The United States has lost bases to natural disasters before. Hurricanes badly damaged Homestead and Keesler Air Force Bases in 1992 and 2005, respectively. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 wiped out Clark Air Base, accelerating a major reduction of the U.S. military presence in The Philippines for more than two decades.

The Navy and the federal government have options for preventing damage to Norfolk, and for keeping the facility open even under serious climate-change scenarios. For one, the Navy could cease construction on particularly vulnerable infrastructure and alter its building plans.

The sailing branch could begin contingency planning in the event a major storm renders the base completely unusable. Finally, the government could protect civilian infrastructure with a system of barriers, levees and flood gates.

Rising sea levels and more powerful storms will threaten every navy in the world. The United States will suffer more than most because of the scale of its naval infrastructure. We simply have more to lose.

The combination of climate change and defense austerity makes the United States particularly vulnerable, as it could become difficult to protect current assets and replace destroyed ones.

It hardly helps that climate change preparedness remains controversial. In 2012, the House Armed Services Committee threatened to undercut the Green Fleet project by prohibiting the Navy from purchasing alternative fuels at higher prices than traditional ones. The House is unlikely to want to spend enormous sums preparing Naval Station Norfolk for rising sea levels.

But of course, mitigation can only go so far. The Navy can’t realistically prepare for the most devastating storms that Norfolk might suffer in the future, and the shift of resources to any other base will just redistribute and delay the problem.

Any solution to the broader threat of climate change needs to involve the whole of government, not just the Navy.

 

Dr. Robert Farley has taught security and diplomacy courses at the Patterson School since 2005.  He received his BS from the University of Oregon in 1997, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2004.  Dr. Farley is the author of Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force (University Press of Kentucky, 2014), the Battleship Book (Wildside, 2016), and Patents for Power: Intellectual Property Law and the Diffusion of Military Technology (University of Chicago, 2020). He has contributed extensively to a number of journals and magazines, including the National Interest, the Diplomat: APACWorld Politics Review, and the American Prospect.  Dr. Farley is also a founder and senior editor of Lawyers, Guns and Money

This article first appeared in WarIsBoring in 2014.

Image: U.S. Navy Flickr.



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US: Evacuees at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base now getting measles, mumps, MMR, chickenpox vaccines

U.S. officials said Thursday that evacuees at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany are now getting measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines while awaiting “onward travel.”

The officials did not say from where the evacuees came or where they were going. But the base has been a major hub for Afghanistan evacuees going to the United States.

The release also comes one day after Just the News reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a warning to the chief of Afghan evacuation operations that measles is spreading among refugees and poses a “major public health threat” that includes the potential for “larger imminent outbreaks” in U.S. communities already reeling from the coronavirus. 

The United States’ 86th Airlift Wing public affairs office said the vaccination program is being undertaken at the request of the CDC, following “the discovery of a small number of measles cases among evacuees who had recently arrived in the United States.” 

Roughly 15 evacuees were vaccinated Thursday, and Ramstein and Rhine Ordnance barracks will begin mass vaccinations Friday of about  9,000 evacuees at the locations, the officials also said. 

They also said there has been only one confirmed case of measles identified among this evacuee population. The infection was confirmed Thursday, and the patient and family are isolated, amid contact tracing.

Earlier this week, Ramstein Public Health officials took blood samples from 70 randomly  selected evacuees, and 94% had antibodies, indicating the evacuees have either been infected and  recovered from measles in the past or have been vaccinated previously, the officials also said.



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When Bush’s Plane Landed at Barksdale Air Base on 9/11, Lone USAF Officer Pointed to Rows of Bombers and Told President’s Men 1 Thing

In the hectic hours that followed the Sep. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the nation seemed to collectively realize two things: We were under attack, and America would most certainly be striking back.

Then-President George W. Bush was sitting in a Florida classroom with a group of schoolchildren when he received the news that the second plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City.

Andy Card, Bush’s chief of staff, famously leaned over and whispered to the president as the children were absorbed in their books, “A second plane hit the second tower.”

The president and his team had learned of the first plane when they arrived at the school earlier that day and had been scrambling to find out more under the constraints of early-21st century communication.

“America is under attack,” Card quietly told the president.

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Bush’s team would spend the next several hours alone in the skies in Air Force One, unsure of what else to do with the commander-in-chief.

According to a 2016 report published in Politico — “We’re the Only Plane in the Sky” — which recorded an oral history of the movements taken by the president and those who traveled with him on that day, Bush and his team were torn between returning to Washington, D.C., to reassure the stunned nation and keeping the commander-in-chief of the armed services safe as it remained unclear if further attacks would come.

Air Force One ultimately landed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, which had already been in the middle of an annual nuclear surety exercise when its commanders became aware of the attacks.

The base was on high alert by the time the men on the ground were informed that Air Force One was approaching — and the president’s handlers remember that once they hit the ground, everything changed, and the reality of the events of that day sank in.

Do you believe our nation has lost its fighting spirit?

“I remember just how different it was, landing at Barksdale. Everything just had changed in an instant. We’d got off the plane and we were at war,” Capt. Cindy Wright, the presidential nurse, recalled.

The president’s team was scrambling to get oriented, but the members of the armed forces were already ready, locked and loaded to defend our country.

“As soon as we landed, Mark Rosenker [director of the White House Military Office] and I went off the back stairs. There’s this guy who looks like General Buck Turgidson from Dr. Strangelove, big guy, all decked out in a bomber jacket,” Brian Montgomery, the White House director of advance, remembered.

“He was straight out of central casting. We said, ‘What do you need?’ He said, ‘See those planes? Every one is loaded with nukes — tell me where you want ’em.’ We look over and there are just rows of B-52s, wingtip to wingtip. I joked, ‘Gosh, don’t tell [the president!].’”

It was from Barksdale, surrounded by no doubt equally adamant airmen, that the president, just eight months into his first term, would address the nation on the deadliest attack to ever take place on American soil.

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“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward,” Bush said in his speech that afternoon. “And freedom will be defended.”

“Make no mistake,” he declared. “The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.”

It was clear from Montgomery’s interaction with the determined airman that the armed forces were most certainly on Bush’s side at the time.

It is certainly a blessing our response didn’t come to a nuclear offensive, despite the level of eager preparedness — and the military action taken by our country over the next two decades will not likely be remembered in history in an entirely positive light, to say the least.

Yet what we remember this weekend is the indignant, proud, fighting spirit of the American people who were determined not to let our enemies get away with what they’d just done.

As our own nation has marked the two-decade anniversary of the attacks just after one of its most shameful military events in history, it is all the more infuriating to think that this fighting spirit has become almost taboo — believing in the exceptionalism and military might of our nation is often seen as being akin to domestic terrorism.

It pains me to say, in many ways, our enemy has won. Or at least, they’ve managed to carry off a series of devastating attacks on our sense of national pride and dignity. We are just as strong — yet we have lost this fighting spirit.

As we remember 9/11 twenty years later, let’s honor the memory of those lost that day as well as the two decades that followed by committing to reviving this spirit.

Our nation is under attack in a new way now — and we’ve got to be all the more ready to defend it, lest we lose our strength and fighting spirit for good.



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Reports: China Eyes Takeover of US Air Base in Afghanistan

Bagram Air Base was largest U.S. installation in Afghanistan before Biden withdrawal

A single Afghan soldier patrols Bagram Air Base after the American withdrawal / Getty Images

Jack Beyrer • September 8, 2021 12:10 pm

The Chinese military is reportedly eyeing a move into Bagram Air Base, only weeks after the Biden administration ordered a withdrawal from what was the United States’ largest military installation in Afghanistan.

Multiple sources confirmed to U.S. News that the Chinese military is assessing the feasibility of sending soldiers and other officials to the abandoned military base, which the Biden administration shuttered in July before a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Top officials in Beijing deny they are pursuing a takeover of the base. “I can tell you this is purely fake news,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

Generals and lawmakers warned President Biden against giving up the base, which was the largest American installation on China’s western border, during the Taliban offensive. The president went ahead with the withdrawal in spite of the warnings.

“Should the United States and China come to blows in the Pacific, a second front will be critical given China’s ability to concentrate its naval and missile assets around Taiwan,” House Armed Services Committee member Mike Waltz (R., Fla.), a former Green Beret, wrote in May. “Unexplainably, in addition to giving up the only air base in the world located in a country that physically borders China and Russia’s southern border, the Biden administration will also give up a key strategic foothold along Iran’s eastern flank, and along the nuclear-equipped and unstable Pakistan.”

China is reportedly considering the takeover as part of its Belt and Road initiative, which advances Chinese economic influence in Central Asia and beyond. The Taliban has expressed interest in joining the initiative. Chinese diplomats last week hosted Taliban leaders but relegated a meeting with Biden climate czar John Kerry to a Zoom conference.





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Afghan evacuee detained after screening at US base in Germany

An Afghan man who was evacuated from the war-torn country to Germany has been detained after he was flagged during a security screening, America’s top military commander in Europe said Thursday.

Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of US European Command, told reporters during a phone briefing at the Pentagon that the man was “not of a high threat as far as I know.” Wolters also declined to say what brought the man to authorities’ attention, saying the information was “protected.”

“That individual is currently in the appropriate custody of U.S. interagency officials, and Germany has been very, very cooperative, and we are still working his background investigation,” he said.

Wolters did not say when the man was detained, but noted that Ramstein began processing Afghan evacuees on Aug. 20. The general added that 58 Afghans were in need of further screening, but “I anticipate that all 58 will probably clear.”

Wolters explained the initial screening of evacuees takes place soon after they arrive at the base and involves a “biometric and biographic screening so that through DOD [Defense Department] channels, through CBP [Customs and Border Protection] channels, and through FBI channels, we have comprehensively scrutinized their background.” As the Afghans prepare to depart, he added, “they’ll be screened one more time to make sure that from a biometric and biographical standpoint, cleared through DOD, CBP and FBI, that they continue to remain in the green.”

Recently evacuated Afghan people enter a bus at the Ramstein U.S. Air Base, Germany.
AP

The general added that if someone “pops red, we calmly take them out of the normal processing line, and we put them in a different location so that we can have some isolation and have a little bit of extra time to make sure that everybody is as safe and secure as possible.”

There are currently four American military facilities in Europe where Afghan evacuees are being processed before traveling onto the US: Ramstein Air Base and Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Germany, Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily and Naval Station Rota in Cadiz, Spain.

Wolters said the four bases had taken in a total of 38,000 refugees and sent 16,000 on to the US since Aug. 20 — the vast majority from Ramstein Air Base.

Republicans have accused the Biden administration of evacuating thousands of Afghans with no connection to the US from Taliban-controlled territory at the expense of Afghans who assisted US-led NATO forces during their two-decade war with the Taliban — leaving the allies and their families to fend for themselves against the vengeful Islamic fundamentalists.

The Biden administration has yet to provide an official count of so-called Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and applicants who managed to get out of Afghanistan.

“They screwed it up coming and going,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a veteran of the Afghanistan War, told Fox News Thursday night. “We left the vast majority of loyal Afghans who served alongside of our American troops there in country, even if they had a visa approved. Yet we apparently also evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans who had no clear direct connection to American troops, and we really have no idea who they are or ability to vet them.

“So Joe Biden cynically used the plight of those loyal Afghans who served alongside American troops to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghans who had no right to be in the country and is now bringing them into the country to the tune of thousands every day, with no ability to vet whether or not they’re a security threat at all.”



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Gold Star Fathers: Joe Biden Checked His Watch at Least 5 Times at Dover Air Base as Slain Servicemen and Women were Carried Off Plane




Gold Star Fathers: Joe Biden Checked His Watch at Least 5 Times at Dover Air Base as Slain Servicemen and Women were Carried Off Plane – WITH WAR ROOM VIDEO



















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Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Arrive at Dover Air Base to Greet Plane Carrying Remains of 13 Dead Servicemen and Women from Kabul Bombing




Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Arrive at Dover Air Base to Greet Plane Carrying Remains of 13 Dead Servicemen and Women from Kabul Bombing




















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