UPDATE AUG. 28 at 5 P.M. ET: Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor said at the Defense Department press briefing on Afghanistan Friday that there was only one suicide bombing attack in Kabul Thursday and not two, as previously reported.
“I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber. We are not sure how that report was provided incorrectly. But we do know, it's not any surprise, that in the confusion of very dynamic events, like this, can cause information sometimes to become misreported,” Taylor said at the Pentagon.
As concerns grow over the Biden administration's ability to evacuate Americans ahead of the planned military withdrawal from Afghanistan, nonprofit organizations are working to assist U.S. citizens and Afghans seeking to flee the nation that's been overrun by the Taliban.
With less than a week until the Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawal of remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the federal government is working to evacuate American citizens and Afghans who risk being tortured and executed by the Taliban, a terrorist organization.
The State Department reported Wednesday that no more than 1,500 American citizens seeking to leave Afghanistan remain there.
Efforts to bring American citizens and Afghans to safety continue after two explosions in Kabul killed 13 Marines and one Navy Corpsman on Thursday. The Department of Defense attributed the attacks to the terrorist group ISIS-K, a local affiliate of the terrorist group ISIS.
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday, Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson profiled The Nazarene Fund, a charity founded by conservative radio host Glenn Beck, as one of a small number of groups that have “headed to Afghanistan and the region to help evacuate people who are trapped there because the Biden administration just isn’t doing that very effectively.”
In an interview with Carlson, Beck elaborated on the progress his organization has made in evacuating American citizens and vulnerable Afghans from the country: “We have pulled out 5,100 people, Christians, women, children and put them on planes.”
Beck explained that the Nazarene Fund flies Afghan refugees to three nearby countries that requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation and terrorist attacks. According to Beck, “The State Department has blocked us every step of the way. … The State Department and the White House have been the biggest problem.”
He also accused the State Department of putting about 500 refugees, primarily women and children, in harm’s way: “We had them inside of the airport today and one military official … ordered them to go back on the other side of the gate. I have pictures of them this morning pleading to get back through the gate and then I have pictures of blood and body parts and nothing but death in that same area. We believe that our State Department is directly responsible for what we believe were some of these people. I don’t know how many survived.”
“An ambassador was called in Macedonia last night and [was] told not to accept any of these people as we were trying to get them off of the tarmac here to keep the airport flowing and getting these Christians out,” he added.
Beck shared on his radio show earlier this week and with Carlson Thursday night that “Copeland Ministries has let me borrow their jet. … We’re going someplace else to open up two countries, and I don’t even want to say who they are because I’m afraid our State Department will call them and threaten them.”
Beck warned of the dangers Christians face in Afghanistan with the Taliban in control, noting that they “are marked not just for death but to be set on fire alive because they’re converted Christians.” He characterized the federal government’s actions regarding Afghan refugees as “out and out evil.”
As of Tuesday, the Nazarene Fund had raised more than $30 million. In an Instagram post, Beck stressed that “I am personally paying for my and my teams' expenses with air travel courtesy of @copelandnetwork - all donated money goes to rescue those in Afghanistan and other persecuted Christians.”
Samaritan’s Purse, a charity led by evangelist Franklin Graham, has also joined the evacuation effort, working in partnership with “organizations on the ground” to help “desperate people fleeing Afghanistan.” In a statement released Monday, the nonprofit organization announced: “We have been able to sponsor flights that have brought hundreds to safety — one of our partners made three trips that brought out 700 people in one day! We have also supported the evacuation of 80 missionary families via land routes.”
In addition, Samaritan’s Purse has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team to the region to help evacuees once they flee the country. The organization is seeking “hygiene items” as well as “comfort items and compassionate care” for “traumatized children” and all “those who have fled with just the clothes on their backs.”
Samaritan’s Purse warned that the Taliban are “Islamic extremists” who are “poised to force Afghanistan back into a dark and brutal state where Christians, anyone who [has] associated with Americans, women, and others face severe persecution and death.”
The organization added that the leader of the underground church ministering to Christians in Afghanistan provided a “first-hand ground report” on the situation in the country, detailing how “The Taliban has a hit list of known Christians they are targeting to pursue and kill.”
During a press briefing with Thursday night hours after the terrorist attacks in Kabul, President Joe Biden confirmed that the U.S. has indeed given the Taliban a list of Afghan allies, and U.S. citizens and green card holders they want to be evacuated, a move that some defense experts fear will lead to the torture and execution of many Afghans.
As The Christian Post previously reported, Victor Marx, the CEO of the nonprofit organization All Things Possible, is working to bring an Afghan family of eight to the U.S.
Marx told CP that the family of converts to Christianity also belongs to “an ethnic tribe that is loathed by the Taliban.” He was first alerted to the family’s plight when the sister of the family’s matriarch, an Afghanistan native whose American husband once worked with him, left him a frantic voicemail asserting that they were in danger.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org