Majority of Afghans at Indiana’s Camp Atterbury had ID and all have been vetted: Federal authorities

A spokesperson at Camp Atterbury mentioned Wednesday the vast majority of Afghans housed on the camp introduced identification and all have been vetted earlier than their arrival, opposite to claims made by an Indiana congresswoman.

“There’s been some confusion relating to the variety of Afghan company who arrived at Camp Atterbury with government-issued identification. We apologize for any confusion that will have arisen from these knowledge units that got,” mentioned Lorie Dankers, a public affairs officer with the Division of Homeland Safety who’s stationed at Camp Atterbury. “However right here’s what I would like folks to know, is that the overwhelming majority of arrivals introduced some type of identification or documentation that demonstrated their identification.”

Dankers mentioned a lot of the Afghans arriving on the camp had the equal of a passport or a driver’s license, and officers are normally searching for a photograph ID.

“Of the individuals who got here and arrived right here, 76% of the company introduced some type of documentation or identification after they arrived,” she informed The Heart Sq..

She mentioned of the remaining folks, many have been youngsters. Twenty-two p.c of the Afghans on the camp, she mentioned, are 9 years outdated or youthful.

U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Indiana, informed Sean Spicer on Newsmax that solely 25 of the 6,600 Afghans on the camp had precise identification paperwork.

Dankers mentioned all Afghans at Camp Atterbury have been vetted earlier than coming to Indiana.

“They’re vetted by intelligence, regulation enforcement, counter-terrorism officers. They carried out that screening and safety vetting earlier than any Afghan visitor was allowed into america,” she mentioned. “They reviewed biographic data, biometric knowledge, they have been all vetted earlier than they have been even allowed to return to america.”

In testimony earlier than the U.S. Senate International Relations Committee on Sept. 14, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned most Afghans weren’t vetted earlier than leaving Kabul and described a chaotic scene as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

“Who have been you letting on the planes?” requested Sen. John Barrosso, R-Wyoming.

“Initially, they have been individuals who managed to flood the airport,” Blinken responded. “We needed to do a right away evaluation of these. We had to verify we may clear folks out of the airports in order that the flights may are available, exit. However nobody got here to america with out being checked elsewhere first to verify they do not pose a safety menace.”

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He mentioned america entered into agreements with greater than a dozen international locations the place “transit factors” have been established to vet the Afghans being evacuated earlier than they have been delivered to america.

The Indiana Nationwide Guard referred all requests for details about Camp Atterbury to Dankers and the Division of Homeland Safety put up at Camp Atterbury.

Camp Atterbury is an outdated Military base about 40 miles south of Indianapolis. It’s operated by the Indiana Nationwide Guard, which makes use of it as a coaching facility and to check tools. The garrison command consists of about 220 troopers who work on the bottom year-round. To course of and look after the Afghans, they’re being assisted by about 800 troopers from Fort Hood, who embrace army police, physicians and nurses. Members of the Military medical command at Fort Knox have additionally been on the bottom to help with the medical screening course of.

Afghans started arriving on the base the primary week in September.

There are actually about 6,600 Afghans residing there, mentioned Dankers. She couldn’t present a particular quantity.

WIBC information speak present hosts Jason Hammer and Nigel Laskowski reported on their present on Tuesday {that a} Nationwide Guardsman they know who’s stationed at Camp Atterbury contacted them and mentioned 47 Afghans who had not accomplished the vetting course of had left the bottom and their whereabouts have been unknown. Additionally they reported the guardsman mentioned some have been discovered to have ties to the Taliban and have been taken away by authorities and that some Afghans had gotten into “shank fights.”

Dankers mentioned the report that 47 Afghans had left earlier than their screening was full with nobody having data of their whereabouts is fake.

However some Afghans have already left the bottom, she mentioned.

“There are people who’ve departed Camp Atterbury as a result of they’re eligible, perhaps they’re a U.S. citizen or a everlasting resident, they’ve household or a spot that we’ve supplied them to remain they usually’ve chosen to finish the resettlement course of away from Camp Atterbury,” she mentioned. “That’s wonderful. These persons are not detained right here.”

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She couldn’t say what number of left.

“I don’t have the precise quantity. However there are people who’ve departed. I do know that. They demonstrated that they have been U.S. residents or everlasting residents. So that they have authorized standing on this nation,” Dankers mentioned.

She mentioned the report about some on the base having ties to the Taliban or one other terrorist group was false.

She mentioned she didn’t know whether or not any of the Afghans processed at Camp Atterbury had been employed by Indiana corporations.

“That I don’t know. A part of the resettlement course of is to get work authorization,” she mentioned.

Of the stories of fights among the many Afghan evacuees, she mentioned she has no details about this.

“Loads of that reporting is fake and I feel that these rumors, I simply can’t confirm them,” she mentioned. “I’ve tried to comply with up on them. I’ve no stories of that. You realize, one of many issues is we do have expectations of our company, and habits that’s applicable. They’ve been informed what is predicted of them, what the results are and we simply proceed to message that.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s workplace didn’t reply to requests for remark about Camp Atterbury.

Among the many roughly 6,600 Afghans on the base, there are 180 pregnant girls, Dankers mentioned.

She mentioned the camp is in want of heat garments for males, girls and youngsters, and is asking Hoosiers to donate garments by means of the community the governor has arrange by means of the armories, saying this ensures “equitable distribution.”

The media has not been allowed into Camp Atterbury this month, and in response to a request to go to, Dankers mentioned she has a listing already of reporters wanting to go to and doesn’t know when and if any visits will likely be allowed.

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