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Report of U.S. officials informing Taliban about Ok'd evacuees sparks criticism of 'kill list'

The list and its exchange was reported Thursday amid the deadly bombing outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

Updated: August 27, 2021 - 9:23am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


The Biden administration is facing criticism for U.S. officials having given names of Americans, green card holders and Afghan allies to the now-ruling group Taliban in Afghanistan so they could get past Taliban guards controlling the perimeter of the evacuation airport in Kabul.

The list and its exchange was reported Thursday by Politico amid the twin deadly bombing outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, that killed over 100 people including 13 U.S. service members. 

An unnamed U.S. defense official told Politico, "Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list. It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean."

The Taliban since its takeover of the country Aug. 15 has established a perimeter around the airport, as thousands try to leave the country, amid fears the U.S. troop withdrawal after 20 years will result in a return to the Taliban’s repressive, authoritarian rule. 

President Biden late Thursday, after, after the bombings, in a national TV address, acknowledged unspecified "occasions" on which the U.S. military had contacted the Taliban to say, "for example, 'This bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following people.' 

"And to the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred. They’ve been let through. But I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names. There may have been, but I know of no circumstance."

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