Previously Deported Convicted Rapist Boarded Afghan Evacuation Flight, Landed In U.S.: Report
27 August 2021, Lower Saxony, Wunstorf: The Bundeswehr's A400M transport aircraft is on approach to land at the Wunstorf base in Lower Saxony. The first Bundeswehr soldiers have returned to Germany from their evacuation mission in Afghanistan. Three military planes landed at the Wunstorf airbase near Hanover shortly before 8:00 p.m. on Friday evening. An Airbus A310 of the German Air Force and two military transporters A400M were used for the return flight of the soldiers to Germany. The forces had taken off from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The Bundeswehr had set up a hub there to fly Germans and threatened Afghans out of Kabul in short shuttle flights.
Friso Gentsch/picture alliance via Getty Images

A man who boarded an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan has been detained by U.S. law enforcement officials on U.S. soil after it was discovered that he was previously deported after being convicted of rape.

“When American citizens were having trouble catching flights out of Kabul, Ghader Heydari made it on an Ethiopian Airlines charter flight for evacuees,” The Washington Times’s Stephen Dinan reported. “Border officials flagged the 47-year-old on his arrival at Washington Dulles International Airport. They appear to be the first to have spotted his criminal and immigration history and derailed his entry.”

The report said that Heydari was being held at the Caroline Detention Facility in Bowling Green, Virginia and that it’s not clear how he got on the flight given that it was “unlikely” that he had a Special Immigrant Visa or that he was a refugee.

“That leaves parole, a power the homeland security secretary has to grant admission to the U.S. in exceptional humanitarian cases,” the report said. “Most Afghans evacuated to the U.S. appear to be parolees rather than having official immigration status.”

According to the Washington Times, a senior administration told reporters last week that evacuees were supposed to be undergoing security screening at transit hubs outside the U.S. before being allowed to enter the country. The report said that either Heydari somehow managed to slip through the cracks of the screening measures or his rape conviction was not enough to keep him off the flight due to the extreme nature of the humanitarian crisis that erupted following Democrat President Joe Biden’s foreign policy decisions in the country.

The Times added:

Heydari came to the U.S. as a refugee sometime in the previous century and was granted a green card in 2000. A man whose name and age match Heydari‘s pleaded guilty to rape in Ada County, Idaho, in 2010. He served more than five years in a state prison and was released on supervision in December 2015, according to state records.

He was ordered deported by an immigration judge in 2016 and was removed in 2017. When Heydari arrived in the U.S. on the evacuation flight, officials tried to persuade him to cancel his request to enter, formally known as withdrawal of application for admission, but he appears to have refused.

There have already been numerous cases of Afghans being flagged in the security screening process, with The Washington Post reporting that “some have been sent back to foreign staging locations after being flagged for security concerns.”

Defense One reported last week that approximately 100 of the recipients of Special Immigration Visas had run into issues during the security screening process and that one had potential terrorist ties.

Defense One reported:

Security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have detected that at least one of the Afghans who was evacuated from Kabul Airport has potential ties to ISIS, a U.S. official confirmed to Defense One. 

Moreover, the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System has flagged up to 100 of the 7,000 Afghans evacuated as prospective recipients of Special Immigration Visas as potential matches to intelligence agency watch lists, a second official said. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to address the report last week, claiming that she couldn’t “speak to one individual, but I can tell you and confirm for you that we take the vetting of any individual who comes to the United States and comes out incredibly seriously and it’s an extensive process.”

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