But relax: it’s “more an immigration violation than a national security threat.” And who ever heard of Afghans getting involved in jihad activity, anyway? “EXCLUSIVE: Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base,” by Jana Winter for FOXNews.com, June 17 (thanks to Will):
A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members of the Afghan military who have gone AWOL from a Texas Air Force base where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, FoxNews.com has learned.
The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, “Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.],” issued by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas, and obtained by FoxNews.com.
The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The DLI program teaches English to military pilot candidates and other air force prospects from foreign countries allied with the U.S.
“I can confirm that 17 have gone missing from the Defense Language Institute,” said Gary Emery, Chief of Public Affairs, 37th Training Wing, at Lackland AFB. “They disappeared over the course of the last two years, and none in the last three months.”
Each Afghan was issued a Department of Defense Common Access Card, an identification card used to gain access to secure military installations, with which they “could attempt to enter DOD installations,” according to the bulletin. Base security officers were encouraged to disseminate the bulletin to their personnel….
A senior Defense Department official in Washington told Fox News he had no direct knowledge of the 17 men being AWOL. The official added that this is not the first time foreign trainees have gone missing, and suggested it was more an immigration violation than a national security threat….