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U.S. Races to Vet Afghans for Security Risks as Evacuations Rise

  • State Department says it’s ‘surging resources’ for screening
  • People on U.K.’s no-fly list tried to board flights: official
Evacuees escorted on to a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21.

Evacuees escorted on to a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21.

Photographer: Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. agencies are rushing to complete security vetting of thousands of Afghanistan citizens who are in line to be relocated to the U.S., as some lawmakers raise alarms about the risk that terrorists and criminals could slip through.

The massive, rushed and chaotic evacuation effort from the airport in Kabul means that thousands of people are being put on planes before their background vetting is complete. It includes many who already had applied for “special immigrant visas” after working with U.S. soldiers and diplomats as well as others who didn’t.