At least 46 members of the Afghan military have gone absent without leave from the Defense Language Institute’s English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base in recent years, according to Fox News, and experts are worried some could be potential terrorists loose in the homeland.
A be-on-the-lookout alert issued last month for 17 Afghan military men who walked away from an Air Force base in Texas has turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, Fox reports.
Five of these Afghan deserters remain at large; eight are in custody; at least 18 are in Canada and one has been granted conditional U.S. residency. The most recent to disappear fled the Texas base just last Thursday, hours after his graduation ceremony.
Many never showed up at the U.S. military base where they were scheduled to attend specialized formal training. A smaller percentage of the group went AWOL while attending the formal training programs.
While military and law enforcement officials say it’s not uncommon for foreign military personnel who come to the U.S. for training to get lured in by hopes of a better life, the number of AWOL Afghans has become a growing problem.
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