Chris Lange, FISM News
The FBI has confirmed that an investigation is underway into the alleged assault of a female U.S. military service member by male Afghan evacuees being housed at Fort Bliss.
“We received the referral from Fort Bliss and our office is investigating the allegation,” said FBI Public Affairs Officer Special Agent Jeanette Harper in an emailed statement to Fox News.
A spokesperson for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Public Affairs indicated that a female service member reported being attacked at an Afghan refugee housing complex in New Mexico on Sept. 19 by “a small group of male evacuees.” The case was then referred to the El Paso Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was a member of Operation Allies Welcome, a group of 1,000 service members who are part of a coordinated effort, under the Department of Homeland Security, to help Afghan evacuees “safely resettle” in the U.S. According to the DHS website, Operation Allies Welcome provides immigration processing and COVID-19 testing services. The operation also provides “screening and support for individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents” prior to being placed into U.S. communities.
According to Fort Bliss officials, the victim has been provided with “appropriate care, counseling, and support.”
“The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount. We will cooperate fully with the FBI and will continue to ensure the service member reporting this assault is fully supported.”
Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), who represents New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district, called the news a “vetting failure.”
“My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family,” she tweeted Friday. “This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals. The American people deserve answers.”
No additional details on the assault or the suspects have been released.
Earlier this month, The Department of Justice charged two Afghan males, in two separate incidents, with assault and sexual abuse. The men were being housed at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin during the time the alleged incidents took place.
Bahrullah Noori, 20, was charged with attempted aggravated sexual abuse for knowingly engaging in a sexual act with a minor boy and attempting to commit a sexual act with a separate minor boy.
In another case, Mohammad Imaad was charged with assaulting his wife by attempting to strangle her.
These incidents further highlight the apparent mishandling of the evacuation efforts by the Biden administration.