At least 363 Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan — far above the administration’s initial estimate — weeks after the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from the jihadist-controlled country, according to the State Department.
The State Department reportedly relayed the information to congressional staff Thursday, admitting it is in contact with 363 Americans stranded in Afghanistan. Of those, 176 reportedly want to come home.
State Dept. informed congressional staff Thursday that it is in touch with 363 American citizens in Afghanistan, 176 of whom want to leave, per @jmhansler
That is significantly higher than the estimates of roughly 100 in Aug. which Admin officials regularly cited.
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) October 22, 2021
This figure is far greater than the estimate offered by Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month, insisting that roughly 100 Americans were left in the country.
“We believe the number of those who have American citizenship, many of them dual-nationals, who remain in Afghanistan is somewhere around a hundred,” he told reporters in Qatar in September, claiming the department to be in “direct contact with virtually all of them.”
“We are working around the clock to help U.S. citizens, to help lawful permanent residents, to help at-risk Afghans to whom we have a special commitment depart Afghanistan if they so choose,” he said at the time, claiming that they had “successfully done that already.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has continually doubted the figure the Biden Administration has offered and remains a key figure in helping trapped Americans escape, bringing attention to their plight. In early September, he estimated the true number of Americans trapped as closer to 500.
“The State Department can’t just say off the record to Congressional staff that they’ve been lying from day one about the number of American citizens they stranded in Afghanistan,” he said in reaction to the latest estimate:
The State Department can’t just say off the record to Congressional staff that they’ve been lying from day one about the number of American citizens they stranded in Afghanistan. https://t.co/QjEq7eGsLn
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) October 22, 2021
On Thursday, Issa released a letter, addressed to President Biden, penned by an American still trapped in Afghanistan alongside his wife. In the letter, the American details the seeming carelessness and incompetency of the State Department, noting they missed three of their flights, two of which they were seemingly not alerted about.
“I am pleading with you again as a fellow proud American and as a husband to help my wife and I get home from Afghanistan,” the American citizen wrote in the October 15 letter.
“I am pleading with you again as a fellow proud American and as a husband to help my wife and I get home from Afghanistan." https://t.co/qWyESgTRWT
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 22, 2021
“For months, my office has worked tirelessly to bring home American citizens and members of our community to be reunited with their families,” Issa said in a statement:
Throughout these efforts, we have seen the worst of the Biden Administration’s disorganized and ineffective efforts to bring our people home. The correspondence I am releasing today is difficult to read, as it captures what one of our fellow citizens is enduring in the aftermath of this President’s disastrously reckless Afghanistan pullout. No American should have to beg their President to bring them home from a dangerous foreign land. And yet, that is exactly what this member of our community and so many other American citizens may feel forced to do.
“Shame on this White House for its betrayal of our fellow citizens,” he added.
Last month, Issa announced the homecoming of a pregnant American woman who was trapped in Afghanistan. And earlier this month, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), whose team is working firsthand on the ground to rescue trapped Americans, revealed to Breitbart News Saturday that two American toddlers died as a result of the State Department’s incompetency.
Meanwhile, the State Department has been focused on other matters, such as International Pronouns Day:
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 20, 2021