Biden Administration Secures Release of Naval Reservist Held by Taliban

Safi Rauf, an Afghan-American naval reservist in Taliban captivity since December, was launched Friday, he stated in a statement.

The assertion was posted on Twitter by the Human First Coalition, for which Rauf serves as president. He wrote that efforts by the U.S. authorities, his household and several other different teams and entities helped safe his launch.

The profitable launch of Rauf, alongside together with his brother Anees Khalil, is a win for the Biden administration as it really works to free a number of different individuals who have been imprisoned or held captive overseas. The administration has been going through calls to assist free U.S. basketball participant Brittney Griner, who was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport in February, and imprisoned ex-U.S. Marine Trevor Reed.

Rauf and his brother have been doing humanitarian support work in Afghanistan when the Taliban took them into custody on December 18, 2021, he stated within the assertion. He stated that they have been held by the Taliban for 105 days.

“Our understanding is that this exceptionally unfortunate situation arose due to a misunderstanding; we did nothing wrong,” the assertion learn.

Rauf Released From Taliban Captivity
Safi Rauf, an Afghan-American naval reservist in Taliban captivity since December, was launched Friday, he introduced in a press release. Above, Taliban fighters stand guard at a flag-hoisting ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday.
Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP by way of Getty Images

He stated State Department Political Officer J.P. Feldmayer, State Department Special Representative Tom West and Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hock performed particularly giant roles in securing their launch. The Human First Coalition, the Qatari authorities, the British authorities and “countless friends” additionally aided the trouble, based on the assertion.

“Anees and I wish to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to secure our release as well as everyone who has supported the humanitarian efforts of our organization Human First Coalition,” Rauf wrote. “At this time, we are looking forward to reuniting with our family and loved ones and ultimately, I hope we can continue to advocate for and seek ways to serve the Afghan people in this critical time of need in Afghanistan.”

He signed the assertion with “gratitude, relief, and much looking to the future.”

Newsweek reached out to the Human First Coalition for extra feedback and knowledge on the circumstances of Rauf’s seize and detainment.

Rauf was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan and got here to the U.S., graduating from a highschool in Nebraska, CNN reported. He served for 4 years in Afghanistan as a linguist in U.S. particular operations forces, then enlisted within the Navy Reserve after coming again to the U.S.

The Human First Coalition that he leads describes itself on its web site as “an organization dedicated to humanitarian aid and the alleviation of suffering globally.” Its work has centered on aiding U.S. residents, susceptible Afghans and different allies “struggling in the wake of the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan.”

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. State Department for remark however didn’t hear again by publication time.

Update 4/1/22, 12:15 p.m. ET: This story was up to date with further data and background.

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