The big question of the Biden evacuation from Afghanistan is who were the +50,000 Afghans he brought to America? The vast majority of them had no visas (though Biden’s people will retroactively make sure they get them) and don’t fit the profile of the interpreters or human rights activists his administration claimed were coming.
We know that the Taliban checkpoints prevented the majority of SIV visa holders from reaching the airport. But whom did the Taliban allow through?
A recent story may shed some light on the question.
The Taliban have halted all flights of Afghan evacuees for the past two weeks in a dispute about how the airport in Kabul is run and who is allowed on the evacuation flights, according to a congressional source, two refugee advocates and a source familiar with the matter.
This is what news reports about Afghanistan look like now. We’re told about an event weeks or months after it happened, and from various “sources”.
At issue are U.S.-chartered Qatar Airways flights that had been running between Kabul and Doha. The Taliban began demanding several seats on the flights for Taliban fighters and sympathizers to leave the country so they can work in other countries and send desperately needed money back to Afghanistan, according to a congressional official and the source familiar with the matter. The country’s economy is in tatters, and millions of Afghans are short of food as temperatures drop.
Before the flights stopped, the Taliban were using the seats to send migrant workers out of Afghanistan to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other destinations to find work, according to the congressional source and the source familiar with the matter. While Taliban fighters were designating who got the seats, it is not clear whether the people leaving were hardened Taliban fighters, sympathizers, civilians or a combination of the groups.
What is clear is that the Taliban expect to cash in on these guys. Some of them probably are terrorists. Others are likely paying the Taliban for the privilege and paying a percentage of their income back to their “sponsors”.
The Taliban are Jihadists, but most Jihadists also operate like companies and criminal organizations with lucrative sidelines in protection money, smuggling, kidnapping, etc…
So was the Biden evacuation switcheroo about remittances? Having their people or workers who owe them money scoring legal status and local salaries in the United States would be a massive profit center.
Especially tens of thousands of them.
Sending back remittances directly to Afghanistan would be challenging, but between the Hawala system and Crypto, and any other means by which money moves around in the dark, they would still have plenty of options for seeing that the Taliban get paid.
Even if the Taliban are only “sponsoring” half of Biden’s evacuees, they could easily be scoring millions a year.
And with the Taliban having their family members under their thumbs, there would be no worries about getting paid. The same could easily be true of any future “refugees”.