An American who was stranded in Afghanistan arrived in Washington, D.C. and spoke to Fox News on Monday about his journey from the Taliban’s reign in Afghanistan.
“First of all, I should appreciate Mr. Tom Cotton that he really helped us get out of there. Without him, it was impossible. Yes, I just got to Washington, D.C. airport, so everything is fine. We’re feeling safe and happy, a little tired. We haven’t been sleeping for almost 36 or 40 hours almost, but yeah, we made it,” Haroon told “Fox & Friends.”
Haroon, who appeared on the show last week detailing his efforts to leave, said that Afghans had to show the Taliban all of their paperwork, including himself. He told them that he was an “American and wanted to go inside” the airport.
“The last day, Mr. Tom Cotton, he tried his best. His people … did their best to help me get out. They gave me a ride from my home to the gate, and from the gate, somehow, they had connections without going through the crowd. They put me all the way in the front, and I got the chance to talk to one of the Americans, so I showed my passport, and they got my kids from over the fence, and then I went behind the wall. They gave me a ladder to get in,” he said.
More than 700 people, including 150 American citizens, were moved out of Afghanistan after the U.S. resumed flights out of Kabul’s airport last Tuesday. While the Pentagon warned it would issue a swift retaliation to any attacks from the Taliban, many are still stranded in the country and are pleading for help.
Haroon received an email saying the U.S. embassy was open but was met by the Taliban when he arrived.
“I saw the Taliban sitting there,” he said. “I couldn’t give myself the courage to go and ask them, ‘Hey, I’m an American. I want to go in the embassy.’”
Haroon warned that his family’s safety is at risk.
He had this message for President Biden: “Please help all these families that are on the street. Their kids are not deserving this. They help you and they help America, they help the world. They put their life at risk to help the world, to do the right thing. This is what my family did.”
“All those people that are right behind the airport, 80 percent of them, they have paperwork that proves they did work with America. And now the Taliban are right there.”
Fortunately for Harron, the Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton came to his aide.
Cotton, who served in Afghanistan in 2008-09 as an Army officer, said Haroon was not his translator, but had contacted his office last week. Cotton said his staff helped Haroon navigate from his home to the airport in the safest way possible.
“So we’re very grateful that Haroon came back but as you said, there are hundreds and thousands of other Haroons all around Kabul and all around Afghanistan, Americans who are standing by, who need help from our government to help get them inside the wire and get back to their country, and it’s pretty disappointing that it took a freelancer in the United States Senate office who’s been working around the clock with all of my young men and women on my team to get help get Haroon out, so many others, when it should be the State Department who is providing this information of helping them get out,” Cotton said, calling on President Biden to declare that American forces will stay in the country “for as long as our people are there.”
“That’s what we owe our fellow countrymen.”
Fox News’ Amy Nelson contributed to this report.