The US officials in Afghanistan naively handed the Taliban a “kill list” to target Afghans who aided American forces in the country, according to a media report.
Following the Taliban takeover of Kabul earlier this month, US officials there gave the militant group a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies so they could be allowed to enter the Taliban-controlled perimeter around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, according to Politico.
The decision was made despite the Taliban’s notorious reputation for brutally executing Afghans who helped the US military and other Western forces during the war and occupation that followed the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The move, detailed by three US and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city after the Taliban seized control of the country, the report said.
It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.
Since the fall of Kabul in mid-August, nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated, most of whom had to pass through the Taliban”s many checkpoints.
But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban has angered lawmakers and military officials.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defence official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
Asked about the report, President Joe Biden said he was not sure there were such lists, but also didn”t deny that sometimes the US hands over names to the Taliban.