September 18, 2021

Afghan Interpreter Who Helped Rescue Biden in 2008 Left Behind After U.S. Exit


Thirteen years ago, Afghan interpreter Mohammed helped rescue then-Sen. Joe Biden and two other senators stranded in a remote Afghanistan valley after their helicopter was forced to land in a snowstorm. Now, Mohammed is asking President Biden to save him.

“Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed, who asked not to use his full name while in hiding, told The Wall Street Journal as the last Americans flew out of Kabul on Monday. “Don’t forget me here.”

Mohammed, his wife, and their four children are hiding from the Taliban after his yearslong attempt to get out of Afghanistan got tangled in the bureaucracy. They are among countless Afghan allies who were left behind when the U.S. ended its 20-year military campaign in Afghanistan on Monday.

Mohammed was a 36-year-old interpreter for the U.S. Army in 2008 when two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters made an emergency landing in Afghanistan during a blinding snowstorm, according to Army veterans who worked with him at the time. On board were three U.S. senators: Mr. Biden, the Delaware Democrat, John Kerry, (D., Mass.) and Chuck Hagel, (R., Neb.).

As a private security team with the former firm Blackwater and U.S. Army soldiers monitored for any nearby Taliban fighters, the crew sent out an urgent call for help. At Bagram Air Field, Mohammed jumped in a Humvee with a Quick Reaction Force from the 82nd Airborne Division and drove hours into the nearby mountains to rescue them, said Brian Genthe, then serving as a staff sergeant in the Arizona National Guard who brought Mohammed along on the rescue mission.



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