American Trapped in Kabul Explains 'Bogus' Visa Email Sent to Thousands: 'Brain Worms'

An American citizen trapped in Kabul, Afghanistan, recently spoke about receiving a "bogus" generic visa document from the U.S. State Department, which he said was sent out to thousands of others.

David Fox, who runs a marketing firm in Kabul, told ABC News on Thursday that he recently tried to travel back to the U.S. but was unable to do so because of the massive crowds of people at Kabul's airport following the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Fox said that on Thursday morning he received an email from the U.S. Embassy's consular services department that included a document to assist American citizens and Afghan citizens eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) in leaving the country.

"This looks like a U.S. visa," Fox said while showing a copy of the document he received. "For those of you who aren't familiar, if you get a U.S. visa or an immigrant visa in your passport, this is what it looks like. But this document has no name. It's not addressed to anyone. There's no serial number at the bottom, there's no barcode."

Fox went on to say that thousands of Afghans, such as those who applied for SIVs, also received the document.

"And what do you think happened when these people received a document like this that has no name? Of course, they printed out a thousand copies," Fox said. "You have tens of thousands of Afghans who now have this kind of ridiculous, bogus document that the State Department created."

Fox continued, "I don't know how else to explain something like this except for brain worms. I mean, it's absurd. What were they thinking?"

A State Department spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that it has sent out documents to potential travelers in Afghanistan.

Fox's comments come as thousands of Americans are trying to leave Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the Taliban's takeover. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul was forced to evacuate personnel, and thousands of Afghan citizens have fled to Kabul's airport to try to flee the country.

During a State Department press briefing earlier this week, spokesperson Ned Price said, "The Department of State is working around the clock to facilitate the swift, safe evacuation of American citizens, Special Immigrant Visa holders and other vulnerable Afghans. We remain committed to accelerating flights for SIVs and other vulnerable Afghans as quickly as possible. The safety and security of U.S. government employees and U.S. citizens overseas is our top priority as well."

President Joe Biden made similar comments during a press briefing on Friday, saying, "Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home."

Biden also said during the briefing that U.S. military personnel have evacuated at least 13,000 people from Afghanistan since Saturday.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was first agreed upon in a deal between the Trump administration and the Taliban, with a May 1 deadline. After Biden took office, he announced plans to withdraw troops by August 31.

Afghanistan
An American stuck in Kabul, Afghanistan, recently spoke about "bogus" visa emails that the State Department sent to thousands attempting to leave the country. Above, Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of Kabul's airport on Friday. Wakil Kohsar/Getty