Just fucking great.
Ten of 17 Afghan military deserters who walked away from a training program on a U.S. Air Force base in Texas remain at large, sources close to the situation told Fox News on Friday, and seven of the men have been accounted for.
The 17 deserters went AWOL from Lackland Air Force Base, where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, according to a “Be-on-the-Lookout” (BOLO) bulletin issued on Wednesday.
Sources said that as of November 2009, one of the deserters was in Canada, one is now a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., one has left the country and another four are in federal custody and in removal proceedings. The other 10 remain unaccounted for.
On Wednesday night, the BOLO bulletin listing all 17 deserters was distributed to local and federal law enforcement officials and joint terrorism task force members across the country.
The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, “Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.],” written by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas and obtained by FoxNews.com.
The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The DLI program teaches English to military pilot candidates and other air force prospects from foreign countries allied with the U.S.
“I can confirm that 17 have gone missing from the Defense Language Institute,” said Gary Emery, Chief of Public Affairs, 37th Training Wing, at Lackland AFB. “They disappeared over the course of the last two years, and none in the last three months.”
The most recent Afghan to disappear from Lackland was First Lt. Javed Aryan, who went AWOL in January 2010, Emery told FoxNews.com. The others listed in the NCIS report disappeared at various times last year.
Each of the missing Afghans was issued a Department of Defense Common Access Card, an identification card used to gain access to secure military installations, with which they “could attempt to enter DOD installations,” according to the bulletin. Base security officers were encouraged to disseminate the bulletin to their personnel.
“The visas issued to these personnel have been revoked, or are in the process of being revoked. Lookouts have been placed in TECS,” it reads.
Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), which is shared by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is a computer-based database used to identify people suspected of violating federal law.
Afghans are not the only foreign military who have gone AWOL from Lackland, Emery said.
“In 2009, the Defense Language Institute English Language Center reported two other students from countries other than Afghanistan went missing,” he told FoxNews.com. “They include one Iraqi who requested asylum in Houston and one Djiboutian whose status is unknown. To date in 2010, one student from Tunisia and one from Guinea Bissau have gone AWOL in addition to the Afghani student [Aryan] who went AWOL in January.
…..A senior law enforcement official said Friday that the Afghans’ disappearance was more of an immigration violation than a security threat, saying there are no “strong indications to any terrorism nexus or impending threat.”
The names of the wanted deserters at the link:
Apparently, the Air Force doesn’t track non-citizens any better than the ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Transportation Security Agency. Any foreign military student, especially if they’re from a Middle Eastern country, should be closely monitored. I’d make them live in Post Quarters and assign them escorts any where they went.
“More of an immigration violation than a security threat”? There’s no way to tell if these Afghans are Al Qaeda/Taliban moles or if they’ve taken off to join any of the jihadist cells our government allows to operate within our borders.
According to the spokesperson, they’ve disappeared over the last 2 years. Gawd only knows where they are or what they’re doing.