Afghan on No-Fly List Accidentally Airlifted Out of Kabul

A person from Afghanistan on Britain's no-fly list has accidentally been flown to Birmingham as part of the UK's evacuation from the war-torn country, in a potential security breach.

However, the individual is now no longer considered a person of interest, the government said.

The "no-fly list" is used to stop people coming to the UK who are thought to be a security threat, which could be through a previous criminal conviction or terrorism.

The person, who was not identified by the government, reached British soil on a military plane and officials were alerted "overnight", Sky News reported.

The individual was reviewed by the Home Office and the government decided that they were no longer a person of interest and that they were free to go.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "An individual was flagged to the Home Office as part of the rigorous checks process, involving the police, security services and others.

However, upon further investigation, they are not a person of interest to the security agencies or law enforcement."

The news suggests there are serious holes in Home Office's no-fly list system.

Newsweek has contacted the ministry for comment.

Other MPs criticized the blunder. "An organised exit strategy would have ensured the necessary checks were in place, so this kind of lapse couldn't happen," Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said.

Britain has flown back thousands of Britons from Afghanistan, as well as Afghans who worked with the UK government there. But thousands more remain at Kabul's international airport, still waiting to board flights.

The United States have given a withdrawal deadline of August 31 for Western military from the central Asian country, providing only hours for countries to evacuate their citizens. But many fear that they might not be able to safely leave the country after the deadline, as the Taliban increases its grip.

At an emergency meeting of the G7 world leaders on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask U.S. President Joe Biden's for an extension of the deadline in order to allow for more flights to evacuate people.

However, the Taliban, which seized power of the country on August 15, said it would not support a deadline extension, because it would mean extending Afghanistan's occupation.

The speed at which almost all provinces in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban alarmed the world, and took many politicians by surprise. It happened after Western forces withdrew the majority of their troops from the country, after over two decades of military activity and thousand of troops on the ground.

American-led forces first came to Afghanistan in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, to oust the Taliban from power.

British MPs, including two former prime ministers, across the political aisle have criticized Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Tony Blair, the British prime minister who sent forces in Afghanistan in 2001, described Biden's withdrawal was "imbecilic" and chastised him for not doing more to inform the UK about his plans.

Afghanistan
Afghan people sit inside a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021 after Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. A person from Afghanistan on Britain’s no-fly list has accidentally been flown to Birmingham as part of the UK’s evacuation from the war-torn country, in a potential security breach, but the individual is now no longer considered a person of interest, the government said. SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images