- On Wednesday, a group of volunteers from US special operations veterans carried out a covert overnight mission.
- As many as 500 active Afghans, facilitators and their families were escorted to safety, ABC News reported.
- The mission was modeled on Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad, a former Green Beret captain said.
A group of volunteers from US veterans special operations war in Afghanistan carried out a covert overnight mission, called the “Pineapple Express,” to transport at-risk Afghans and their families to safety, according to the report. ABC News.
The outlet reported that the group had worked under cover on Wednesday night, and in tandem with the US military and embassy, to transfer hundreds of Afghans to an area controlled by the US military. from Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Up to 500 Afghan special operators, assets, facilitators and their families were turned over to U.S. military protective custody on Thursday morning, ABC News reported.
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Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the private rescue effort, told the outlet Wednesday night’s operation was akin to a “Jason Bourne” thriller .
The secret moves were coordinated by more than 50 people in an encrypted chat room, ABC News said. The Afghans were known as “passengers” and were guided from a distance by “shepherds,” who are former commanders of US special operations forces and the CIA, using GPS drops, and encountered by ” conductors “carrying a green chemical light at assembly points, the outlet added. Their identity was confirmed by a yellow pineapple graphic on their smartphones.
The operation was modeled on Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad, the historic network of secret roads to help black Americans escape slavery, former Green Beret captain Zac Lois told ABC News.
Wednesday’s operation was part of the “Pineapple Task Force,” an informal group formed on Aug. 15 to bring a former Taliban-targeted former Afghan commando into the airport, the outlet said.
Task Force Pineapple was working on another rescue mission Thursday night when an explosion near the airport killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US soldiers, the outlet said.
Some of the group’s Afghan passengers were injured and, according to ABC News, members of Task Force Pineapple are assessing whether any of the Afghans they were helping had been killed.
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“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with young children, orphans and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul all night and until seconds before ISIS took action. detonate a bomb in the mass of Afghans gathered in search of safety and freedom, “Mann said.
Jason Redman, a former Navy SEAL wounded in combat and author who rules Afghans, told ABC News Thursday night was a “roller coaster” ride and described it as “chaotic.”
He also expressed his frustration that “our own government has not done this,” he said. “We did what we had to do, as Americans,” Redman added.