As thousands of people flocked outside the main gates of Kabul airport trying to escape Afghanistan in August, the CIA opened a secret door about two miles along the airport’s northern perimeter to let VIPs and dignitaries out. unbeknownst to the Taliban.
The entrance to the airport through the gate, known by various names in code including Glory Gate and Freedom Gate, was so secret that the Taliban were unaware of its existence and had not previously been reported according to the Wall Street Journal.
The gate was located in front of a gas station and was operated by CIA and Delta Force agents and guarded by a CIA-trained Afghan paramilitary unit known as “02”, which was Evacuated along with the Americans on recent flights.
“The gas station was where our men would go to rescue the Afghans who were trying to leave,” said a former CIA agent.
According to the report, the portal was used to smuggle priority CIA figures, including intelligence agents, local agents, their families, and a list of VIPs sent by the White House.
Subsequently, the entrance was expanded to become the main conduit for the State Department’s efforts in the last 48 hours of the civilian evacuation mission to assist vulnerable Afghans who worked at the U.S. Embassy and others who could not pass through. the Taliban checkpoints blocking access to the airport.
The temporary entrance was built with Hesco barriers, barbed wire and concrete walls moved by a forklift to provide a layer of protection for the elements at the entrance.
Afghans who passed through the gate, on foot or in buses, were searched behind walls and then driven several hundred meters along a concrete track and over a bridge to an American base formerly known as Camp Alvarado that was part of the airport complex.
The CIA in later opened a second secret gate along the Northern Ocean. The CIA declined to comment on the matter.
John Bass, the former US ambassador in Chosen to lead the evacuation effort, Afghanistan described the difficulty of working with the Taliban and facing huge crowds of desperate people all trying to reach the airport through some bottlenecks. “Every day we didn’t know if we were going to be in able to pass through 100 people or 5,000 people, “he said.
Glory Gate Road became more active on Thursday, Aug. 26, more than a week after the Taliban took control of Kabul, after a State Department team negotiated a deal with the CIA to use the corridor to evacuate personnel from the US embassy and their families in the final 48th round.
US embassy employees and their families were asked to assemble in secret places in the city and to board the buses that would take them to the airport, a plan that managed to get them out of Afghanistan.
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