State Department evacuation numbers were leaked earlier this week to Politico reporter Alex Ward, indicating that most persons evacuated from Afghanistan at the Kabul airport have been Afghan nationals.
As of Tuesday, the evacuation mission had resulted in the transport of 26,582 persons in total, comprising 4,407 American citizens, 21,533 Afghan nationals, and 642 citizens of other nations.
The numbers reflect concerns over the vetting process that has been in place for individuals being rescued. The total reflects the trend in the area before the suicide bombing attacks outside the gates of the Kabul airport on Thursday that led to the deaths of at least twelve U.S. Marines and soldiers.
The leak published by Ward followed the reporting of national security missteps in Kabul by France and the United Kingdom. The BBC had reported Tuesday morning that the U.K. evacuated a person who appeared on the country’s no-fly terror list. The person was denied entry into the U.K. when he safely landed in Birmingham, England.
A spokesperson for the French government announced on Tuesday that they had detained an Afghan who was flown out on a rescue flight. The man was an admitted Taliban member who had been working at a Taliban checkpoint in Kabul.
It was still unanswered before the bombing attacks on Thursday whether the Biden administration had any safety plan to process individuals attempting to enter the security perimeter of the Kabul airport.
If the administration had a process to check every person coming through the gates at the airport intending to board a plane bound for a base in the U.S. or elsewhere, no numbers were disclosed showing whether anyone had been turned away. Also, if anyone was turned away, it was unknown where they were sent.
President Joe Biden said on Sunday that persons rescued from Kabul would be screened at bases and transit centers in multiple countries before being welcomed to their new home inside the U.S.