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[BREAKING] Last Planes Carrying Evacuees Leaves Afghanistan, But Experts Worry About Increased U.S. Domestic Violence

[BREAKING] Last Planes Carrying Evacuees Leaves Afghanistan, But Experts Worry About Increased U.S. Domestic Violence

The last military planes have left Afghanistan as of Monday evening, meeting the deadline set by President Joe Biden and effectively bringing an end to the war and the evacuation of Americans who have indicated they wanted to leave the country. But federal officials are on high alert for threats to the homeland following the mass evacuation from Afghanistan and the devastating attack in Kabul this week that killed US service members and scores of Afghans. The FBI anticipates a potential increase in US domestic terrorism rhetoric, from racially or ethnically motivated extremists, as well as anti-government or anti-authority extremists who may be motivated or inspired by the situation.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tracking three primary threats, including whether individuals abroad in Afghanistan, who are associated with ISIS or al Qaeda, could use the relocation process as a way to enter the US. From a DHS perspective, the second significant security threat for the US is whether people already in the US, who may be inspired by narratives associated with al Qaeda, ISIS, or other foreign terrorist groups, will view the events in Afghanistan as an opportunity to engage in violence here.

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – AUGUST 21: In this handout image provided by the Ministry of Defence, a full flight of 265 people are evacuated out of Kabul by the UK Armed Forces on August 21, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The British armed forces are evacuating UK citizens and eligible personnel out of the Afghan capital after the Taliban took control of the country last week. (Photo by Ben Shread/MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Images)

The White House announced Friday that DHS will take on the major challenge of overseeing the federal government response for relocating evacuated Afghans to the US, an effort underway after tens of thousands of people were airlifted from Kabul in recent weeks.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Sunday that Robert Fenton Jr., a regional FEMA administrator and former acting administrator of the agency, will lead the federal government’s efforts to resettle Afghans in the United States.

All Afghans heading to the US are vetted against classified and unclassified information. Some of those relocated to the US are subject to secondary screening, which includes interviews by the FBI.

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There are “a very small number of individuals who’ve been flagged for concern,” said an official with the National Targeting Center on the call, who appeared to be referring to people overseas at so-called lily pad transfer point locations, like Doha, Qatar. There is additional screening and vetting when the evacuees arrive in the US, which has been at Washington Dulles International Airport but is expanding to Philadelphia soon.

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