A volunteer working to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan said that many more Americans are still trapped in the country than the Biden administration claims.
Jean Marie Thrower, an Army veteran and automotive consultant, is a volunteer with the Afghan Rescue Crew working to extract as many Americans and Afghan allies abandoned by the U.S. in Afghanistan as possible. Thrower appeared on Fox News on Sunday and blasted the Biden administration for its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Definitely, there are more than the hundred that is being stated. We have multiple groups working together with teams with rosters of people, and we continue to scrub those rosters to make sure we know where these people are at,” Thrower said. “I do want to say as a veteran, quickly, that I’m appalled at our administration and how they have disrespected Americans and our allies, as well as put our soldiers’ future operations in jeopardy.”
Thrower said that the Biden administration is underestimating the number of Americans still in Afghanistan based on the number of people she and the Afghan Rescue Crew are in contact with.
“We have the evidence out there. We are talking to these people. We have American children. We have children being born that are really under American citizenship, technically. So, there are a lot of different things,” Thrower said.
Thrower added that she is willing to work with the Biden administration to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies, but the administration has been slow in responding to her group’s requests.
“I’ve stated that numerous times that we are totally willing to work with them. I know that they might be working with some other groups as well, but we still haven’t seen any movement. It’s very slow moving … people don’t have time for that,” she said. “They are being executed, killed, hunted as well as we also have Americans who are being in safe houses that are scared they might be made an example of so it’s very dangerous for everybody there and we do not have a lot of time.”
The volunteer rescue worker said that the Taliban are using duplicitous tactics to lure out Afghans who worked with the United States or served in the Afghan military before Kabul fell. The Taliban are also attempting to spy on rescue groups’ communications, as well, forcing the groups to find workarounds and other methods of communication for at-risk populations. Thrower added that her group has prioritized finding safe places for those targeted people to live.
President Joe Biden claimed in a speech at the United Nations last week that the United States has “turned the page” on the war in Afghanistan. At the time, the State Department was still negotiating with the Taliban to get clearance for dozens of stranded Americans to leave from Mazar-i-Sharif.
“We stand, in my view, at an inflection point in history. And I’m here today to share with you how the U.S. plans to stand with partners and allies in answering these questions,” Biden said. During the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden overruled allies requesting that he postpone the final withdrawal date to give time for allies to complete evacuations from Afghanistan. Biden decided against the move, keeping to his self-imposed deadline of August 31.
“I stand here today for the first time in 20 years with the United States not at war. We’ve turned the page,” Biden claimed.