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Afghan living in San Diego fears for his family's safety in Kabul

San Diegan says 16 family members are in danger
Posted at 6:59 AM, Aug 22, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An Afghan man living in San Diego says there's a target on his family's back as the Taliban sweeps across Afghanistan.

Faisal, who asked that we not use his last name for safety reasons, says he worked with the US military from 2009-2014 before coming to San Diego. He says his father was also a member of the police force in Afghanistan. Because of that, he worries that the Taliban will kill his father, mother, and 14 other relatives still in the country.

"I told him, dad there is no other way. You have go to the airport. You're a police officer, they're going to kill you," Faisal told ABC 10News Reporter Jared Aarons through tears.

"This Taliban are not the same Taliban as two decades ago, they are worse than that," Faisal says. "They're more brutal in that they've been killing everybody who tried to talk against them."

Faisal says seeing images of chaos at the Kabul airport is heart-wrenching. He's heard people have to go through a gauntlet of brutal Taliban checkpoints just to get to the airport, and crowded areas near the gates are fraught with danger.

"There are so many people out there. It's open-air but there are so many people out there that some people cannot get enough oxygen," he says. "Everything that I'm telling you, my family's experienced firsthand."

Faisal says he does US forces are trying their best to help, but he believes the Afghanistan government has abandoned its people.

"When the president of a country leaves everybody behind, what do you think the rest of this will do, or the military should do? We should not talk bad about our (Afghanistan) national army. They did their best. It's up top, the upper leadership."

Meanwhile, he says the current situation is unacceptable.

"This is not working," Faisal says. "We must find another way. Either they either dying in front of the airport, or they will be hunted down in their houses in the Capitol. That's what's happening there."

He says it's up to the rest of the world to spread the word about what's going on and pressure the US and other governments to step up their efforts to evacuate everyone in danger from the Taliban.

"We need to be a voice for them because they have no voice over there," Faisal says. "They're being killed, they're being hunted. We need to help them because they have nobody else but us."