Since seizing power in a lightning offensive, the hardline Islamist group has tried to reassure Afghans by promising “no revenge.” However, there is growing concern that there will be a gap between what they say and do.
According to Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Taliban has already begun executing some of the 10,000 interpreters who worked with the United States in Afghanistan, News Max reported.
The Texas Republican made the remarks during an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Monday, Sept. 13.
“The interpreters, who worked with our Special Forces, they are gone. The Taliban will not allow them to leave,” he said. “These are the guys who worked right with our special forces. The Taliban views them as the worst of the worse because they betrayed, in their view, their country and they worked with the infidel.”
The RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which supplies intelligence to the UN, previously sent a sensitive paper warning that the group was targeting “collaborators.”
“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told the BBC.
“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”
McCaul estimated approximately 10,000 interpreters remain in Afghanistan. However, when including the families involved, he noted that the number of people at risk might be as high as 30,000.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked, “So, you think they’re going to be stuck? They’re never going to get out?”
McCaul replied, “They’re already being executed. We’re already getting stories of families and interpreters being executed by the Taliban.”
The congressman also slammed the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan.
“Had they done this sooner, this actually could have worked,” he said. “But they waited for the last minute on the hopes that they had this peace deal with the Taliban.”