5 People Attempted To Hijack Commercial Evacuation Plane From Afghanistan, Air Force Says

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Jorge Velasco Contributor
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One of the evacuation flights leaving Kabul International Airport carried individuals who “intended” on hijacking the aircraft, according to a Tuesday Air Force report.

Officials followed an intelligence tip that five people aboard one of the various commercial flights “intended to hijack the aircraft,” the report stated. (RELATED: Nations Must ‘Inject Cash’ Into Afghanistan’s Economy, UN General Secretary Says)

“Our team worked to get them clear of the NATO ramp, relocated to the north side away from friendly forces, then ultimately onto the south side where the situation was handled,” Lt. Col. Brian Desautels said, according to the Air Force statement.

No other details about the attempted hijacking were provided in the report.

“I knew this was going to be different — all of the assumptions and experiences from the past in Afghanistan were invalid,” Col. Russell Cook, HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue pilot and Flying Tigers wing commander, said about the evacuation process out of Afghanistan, according to the Air Force statement.

“I spoke with the leadership before they left and made sure they understood that. By the time they walked out the door, I was 100% confident that the team was ready to execute their critical life-saving mission in the most challenging of environments.”

Two private flights leaving Kabul carrying nearly 800 people were stuck in Afghanistan for weeks after Sayara International, the development organization in charge of the departure and arrival of flights to the U.S., said negotiations between the Taliban and U.S. State Department prolonged, the Washington Examiner reported.

A viral video showed people clinging onto the side of a military-grade aircraft as it went down the runway. Another video showed an Afghan hanging out of landing gear attempting to flee from the Taliban.