US Special Forces Vets Launch Mission to get Afghan Allies Out Amid Biden's Chaotic Withdrawal:
Pentagon Pushes on with Evacuation of 8.5K Despite Threat of ANOTHER ISIS Attack After Suicide Bomber Killed 13 American Troops and 170 Other People
- A group of American Afghanistan veterans are in Kabul on a volunteer mission getting people to the airport
- They include retired Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders who want to help the Afghan commandos that helped them in the war
- They have been going out at night to escort Afghans to the airport on foot under the cover of darkness
- They have also teamed up with soldiers at the airport who are defying orders to let them in
- The vulnerable Afghans were using the password 'pineapple' to identify themselves at airport gates
- They have changed the password after speaking to the media about the operation
- It comes as the US government scrambles to evacuate up to 1,000 Americans and thousand more Afghans from Kabul by Tuesday night
- On Thursday, the mission became even more dangerous when ISIS launched a suicide bomb attack
- 170 civilians were killed along with 13 US troops by a suicide bomber in a vest and a car bomb
- Biden - whose handling of the withdrawal has been widely condemned - said evacuations would continue
- On Thursday it emerged he had given a list of the names of vulnerable Afghans to the Taliban
- His administration thought naively that the Taliban would help evacuate the people on the list
- Former President Trump called it 'kill list' that will seal their deaths
A group of American war veterans in Kabul are secretly saving hundreds of Afghan Special Forces troops and their families who helped them in the war but have now been left for dead as the US withdraws from Afghanistan.
The group of special op soldiers includes retired Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders who launched the mission, which they are calling Pineapple Express, after one of the Afghan commandos they served with contacted them to say he was on the run from the Taliban. His visa had not been approved when the Taliban took over on August 14 and thousands ran for the airport.
The special ops soldiers first devised a system with US troops at the airport where they sent their comrades to a gate and told them to identify themselves with the password 'pineapple' to be put on a plane by the Marines on the ground. Some also showed the troops pictures of pineapples on their phones.
After successfully getting hundreds through that way, the special ops teams started going into Kabul, behind enemy lines, to rescue more of their comrades and their families in the cover of darkness.
It's unclear how long they have been in Afghanistan and how they got there but some of those involved spoke to ABC News about the mission on Friday, explaining they simply could not leave their comrades behind.
'I just want to get my people out,' said one of the retired troops involved while another said the Afghan allies they were saving had a prouder sense of Democracy than some Americans.
Their astonishingly courageous efforts have saved hundreds while Biden and his team have bungled the evacuation mission by haphazardly telling some US citizens and allies to go to the airport while rejecting visas for others and leaving any Americans to fend for themselves. They are one of several ad-hoc volunteer groups on the ground that are frantically trying to save people before time runs out.
The disastrous government rescue mission became even more tragic on Thursday when ISIS bombers targeted the crowds at the airport, slaughtering 170 people with a suicide bomb that also killed 13 US troops.
It has since emerged that Biden's administration also gave a list of Afghan allies' names to the Taliban in the naïve hope they would then help get them out. Former President Donald Trump called it a 'kill list' that all but guaranteed their deaths.
The US now one of the only nations still evacuating from Kabul amid increasing threats of another ISIS attack.
Some of the Afghans being helped by Pineapple Express were injured in yesterday's suicide bomb attack but it's unclear if any were killed. The US has just four days to get as many s 1,000 Americans out plus another 5,000 Afghans who helped in the war.
General Kenneth McKenzie, who is running the US operation on the ground in Kabul, warned on Thursday that another ISIS attack - specifically a car bomb similar to one used on Thursday - was imminent.
The death toll from the attack at the airport is now 170. Thirteen US troops were killed, the first American lives lost since the evacuation carnage began on August 14.
All evacuation flights must stop by Tuesday night and the US must start putting troops and equipment on the planes soon.
It leaves a tiny window of opportunity for thousands of people who want to flee to get out, diminishing the hope of many Afghans who have not been given special interest visas and must now make a run for the border in Pakistan or stay and live under Taliban rule.
One of the veterans who took part in the Pineapple Express mission was a retired Green Beret known as 'Lawrence of Afghanistan'.
'I have been involved in some of the most incredible missions and operations that a special forces guy could be a part of, and I have never been a part of anything more incredible than this.
'The bravery and courage and commitment of my brothers and sisters in the Pineapple community was greater than the U.S. commitment on the battlefield. I just want to get my people out,' he told ABC News
Retired SEAL Commander Dan O'Shea accompanied a U.S. citizen, who served as an operative, and his Afghan father and his father on foot.
'He was not willing to let his father and his brother behind; even it meant he would die. He refused to leave his family.
'Leaving a man behind is not in our SEAL ethos. Many Afghans have a stronger vision of our democratic values than many Americans do.'
Before Thursday's attack, another 130 were smuggled to the airport to be put on flights.
'Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,' Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander, told ABC.