Former Army Captain Matt Zeller said Friday that that United States government had effectively given the Taliban “a kill list.”
Zeller told CNN “New Day” hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar that when government officials provided the Taliban with names of those who should be allowed to pass through checkpoints to the airport in Kabul, they had effectively given the terror group a list of people to seek out and kill. (RELATED: ‘He Knows What He’s Done’: Piers Morgan Accuses Biden Of ‘Shocking Moral Cowardice’ In Afghanistan)
Keilar began by referencing President Joe Biden’s promise to get Americans and Afghans who had helped the U.S. out of Kabul. She then turned to Zeller, cofounder of No One Left Behind, to ask whether that was actually a possibility.
“Yeah, unfortunately that’s just not happening,” Zeller said, noting that his office was tracking 1500 people — some of whom were Americans, and others who were green card holders or Afghan allies — and that those people were hiding in safe houses because they were unable to get to the airport in Kabul. Their mission, dubbed a “Digital Dunkirk,” was to assist as many as possible in getting out of the country.
“We cannot get them through Taliban lines. We had one of our couriers yesterday actually shot by the Taliban trying to move American citizens to a pickup,” Zeller continued. “So the reality is this. These people are going to be left behind. There’s no way that they can get to the airport. And unless the government steps in and assists us and actually comes to rescue these people, we’re going to have to start thinking about how to get them out of Taliban-held Afghanistan after the 31st.”
Zeller went on to say that they were having just as much trouble trying to get American citizens out as Afghan allies, adding, “We have attempted it. We can’t do it. We can’t get through Taliban lines.”
“Look, if green card holders are having that kind of problem, what does it mean for Special Immigrant Visa holders?” Keilar pressed. “And I’m talking about people who actually have the visa in hand.”
Zeller said that regardless of paperwork, people could not get through the Taliban checkpoints to the airport. He went on to relay a story about a group that was detained and divided into groups of American citizens, green card holders and SIV holders.
“At that point allowed for the Americans and the green card holders to leave, and then turned to the several hundred Afghans left behind and said, so, you worked for the Americans, did you? You wait right here. We’re taking names,” Zeller added.
Zeller also mentioned several reports indicating that the United States had provided the Taliban with a list of people who should be allowed to pass through the checkpoints and argued that the list might be used for other purposes.
“We know now through eyewitness reporting the Taliban are not letting those Afghans through the checkpoints, I fear what we’ve done is hand them a kill list and a hit list,” he said.