2 Afghan Trainees AWOL From US Base

'Zero indication' that men are a threat, authorities say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2015 12:11 AM CST
A mock F-16 fighter jet is silhouetted against the sky at sunrise as workers pass through security and make their way onto Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Ga.   (AP Photo/Mark Foley, File)

(Newser) – Two Afghan airmen who didn't show up for training at a US Air Force base in Georgia on Monday are missing, and authorities suspect it's because they don't want to go home. An Air Force spokesman tells USA Today that law enforcement officials are searching for Mirwais Kohistani and Shirzad Rohullah, who were being trained in aircraft maintenance. The spokesman tells 11Alive that the men were nominated by the Afghan Air Force and heavily vetted by US authorities before being accepted for training at Moody Air Force Base, so they probably don't pose a threat to anybody in the US. "It's not the first time it's happened, so we just want to find them if we can," he says.

Another Air Force spokesman tells the AP that the trainees, who were allowed off the base over the weekend and haven't been heard from since, were due to graduate from the training program next week and return to Afghanistan. The police chief in the nearby town of Valdosta tells the AP that there is "zero indication" that the men are terrorists. "You've got to remember these folks were cleared by the US military and by the Department of Defense to come in and train," he says. "These guys have been here since February of 2015, and they have not caused a problem at all." Three Afghan soldiers who vanished during a training exercise in Massachusetts last year were sent back to their homeland after being caught at the Canadian border. (Read more US military stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |