Then interpreter of the American army, Mohammed rescued in 2008 the future president, stuck in a snowstorm during a visit to Afghanistan.
A former Afghan interpreter for the US military, stranded in Kabul after the US withdrawal, seeks help from Joe Biden, whom he helped rescue from a snowstorm in Afghanistan in 2008, in a message published this Wednesday, September 1 by the Wall Street Journal .
“Hello Mr. President: save me and my family. Don’t forget me here ”, pleads Mohammed, who does not give his last name, because he fears for his life since the return to power of the Taliban in mid-August.
The testimonies are multiplying in the American press of Afghan civilians who worked for the American forces who were not evacuated by plane before the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, putting an end to 20 years of war on Monday.
“I can’t go out, I’m very scared”
Since then, he has been in hiding with his wife and four children. “I can’t go out, I’m very scared,” he says.
The former interpreter, stationed at Bagram air base, was part of a unit that came to the aid of three senators, including Joe Biden, visiting Aghanistan in February 2008.
Caught in a snowstorm, their helicopter had to land urgently in a valley about thirty kilometers from the base, according to a former soldier interviewed by the daily.
Once the three elected officials were safe, Mohammed had been on guard for thirty hours around the aircraft while waiting for a favorable weather window to take off again.
Stranded at Kabul Airport
According to the Wall Street Journal , Joe Biden mentioned this trip to show his experience in foreign policy during the 2008 presidential campaign, when he was Barack Obama’s running mate .
Mohammed applied for a special immigration visa, issued to those who worked with the US military. But the company that employed him lost the necessary documents, according to Brian Genthe, an Arizona National Guard sergeant who was part of the rescue mission.
After the Taliban victory, Mohammed tried his luck at Kabul airport, where a massive evacuation operation was underway . But American soldiers refused to let his family come in with him.
The United States will try to evacuate Afghan allies
Asked by the daily, House Banche spokeswoman Jen Psaki assured Tuesday that the United States would continue to try to evacuate its Afghan allies.
“Our message (to Mohammed) is: Thank you for fighting with us for the past 20 years,” she said. “We will send you away”.
The Washington Post also reports on the situation of Mike, another former Afghan interpreter with a green card who now lives in the United States. Returning to Afghanistan to try to evacuate his family, he hides around Kabul with his wife, three children, his parents, two brothers and a sister.
He waited for 36 hours in front of the gates of the airport, but could not pass the gates, according to Zach Disbrow, his former commander in 2012 who had however found him places in a military plane.