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Veteran US Special Forces working to rescue Afghans under cover of darkness

CM 30/08/2021


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As missions to rescue vulnerable Afghans out of the country comes to an end, a group of American military veterans is working around the clock to shepherd hundreds more to safety.
The all-volunteer group of special forces veterans, aid workers, intelligence, and state department officials have already saved over 700 Afghans and their families in three days, getting them past Taliban and military checkpoints into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The unofficial operation, which has been conducted with the US military, has been dubbed “Taskforce Pineapple.”

Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who served multiple tours in Afghanistan and who is leading the private rescue effort, told The Jerusalem Post that the operation began as a frantic effort to rescue one former Afghan commando who had served with Mann.
Calling him Bismullah, Mann said that he was being actively targeted by the Taliban who were texting him and his family death threats since the group knew that he had worked with US Special Forces.
Taskforce Pineapple (credit: TASKFORCE PINEAPPLE)Taskforce Pineapple (credit: TASKFORCE PINEAPPLE)
“We worked with the indigenous people and built relationships – very very deep relationships – with our partner Afghan special forces and their families. Bismullah was a great warrior…even got shot through the face and he kept on fighting.”
Mann told the Post that as the Taliban overran the country and then took control of the capital, “it became clear that he and his family wouldn’t get out of Kabul as it was falling to the Taliban.”
And that bothered Mann.
“He’s a friend and I thought to myself that man, we made a promise. He saved so many US lives and we aren’t going to honor our promise to him?” So, he said, “I got on the phone and did what we Green Berets do. I thought we have to be his eyes, we have to use our networks to move him through the city and get him to the airport.”
Bismillah and his family of six were able to make it under cover of darkness and with dozens of covert movements to the safety of the airport. But they were unable to enter the gates until a State Department official told Mann to have him use the word “pineapple” to let guards know to let him and his family in.
“We became Task Force Pineapple after that,” Mann said. “We got our guy in and only 18,000 left to go.”
As American troops were not moving outside the airport’s perimeter, Mann’s team came up with a ground team of “conductors” and “shepherds” and the Afghan “passengers.” Using encrypted messages and working with a network of people on the ground, they were able to guide people to points where they could wait until they were called by “conductors.”
Once they reached the airport, they would hold up their smartphones with a graphic of yellow pineapples. With that, the Americans would let them in.
With the Americans and other nations winding down their rescue effort, Mann said that his network will continue to rescue at-risk Afghans for as long as they can.
“We lost a lot of our brothers and sisters and we believe in our missions and in our Afghan partners,” Mann said. But, he stressed, it’s not only Afghan soldiers and their families that Taskforce Pineapple wants to rescue.
“‘De Oppresso Liber — To Liberate the Oppressed’ is the motto of the Green Berets,” he said. “We decided not to focus only on our special forces partners, but any high-risk Afghan like women, supreme court judges, nonprofit workers, and more.”
Mann told the Post that they are working as volunteers and with non-profits in order to rescue more Afghans, and will continue to do so for the next 6-12 months.
“I want to give a voice to the voiceless, those who are at risk and have no one else,” he said, adding that “this will be a heavy lift, and we are asking anyone who understands what it means to never leave a soldier behind to work with us.”
And that, Mann said, includes Israelis.

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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