State Department blames private charters for ‘several’ inaccurate Afghan refugee flight manifests

The State Department on Thursday said that some of the manifests clearing Afghan refugees for entry into the U.S. were not accurate and blamed private rescue efforts for the inaccuracies. 

“There have been several instances in which private entities have chartered aircraft to transport individuals out of Afghanistan where … on arrival at transit destinations have revealed that many of the passengers were not in fact eligible for relocation in the United States,” State Department press secretary Ned Price told reporters. 

“In some cases, that despite our best vetting and vetting to the best of our ability, the manifests were not accurate,” he added. 

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Price did not comment on how many manifests are believed to have contained inaccuracies, and the State Department did not immediately return Fox News’ questions.

The press secretary said that inaccurate manifests pose not only a logistical challenge but affect U.S. relations with partner nations helping to facilitate the evacuation from Afghanistan. 

“When this happens it does put the arrivals in a very difficult spot, it puts them at risk with no plan for relocation to the United States,” Price said. “It has the potential … to damage the bilateral relationship when it involves landing in a third country … and it makes it more difficult for the U.S. government to rely on partner countries to assist in future relocations out of Afghanistan.”

Price’s comments come following several weeks’ of evacuations of Americans, Afghan allies and refugees following the collapse of Kabul to the Taliban.

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By the completion of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan on Aug. 30, the U.S. had evacuated more than 124,000 individuals from the Taliban-controlled country. Partner nations helped to facilitate flights and processing centers before those who were eligible for relocation were able to then fly to the U.S.

It remains unclear if any ineligible individuals seeking relocation did in fact make it to the U.S. or what the procedure is that follows. 

Price said the U.S. is still working to get out an indeterminate number of Americans from Afghanistan.

The press secretary said the number of Americans looking to leave the country is “static” and difficult to definitively quantify.  

“The number of Americans who remain in Afghanistan – this is a figure that is dynamic. We said as of a couple of weeks ago the figure was around 100,” Price told reporters. “Since then, several dozen Americans have departed Afghanistan.”

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But Price said he could not definitely say that fewer than 100 Americans are still looking to leave as more have come forward requesting State Department assistance. 

The State Department has said it will continue to work with Americans and Afghan allies to evacuate individuals should they chose to leave. 

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