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3 Americans rescued from Afghanistan arrive in New York

The operation was carried out by Tampa-based rescue non-profit Project Dynamo.

TAMPA, Fla. — After being in hiding for a year, Project Dynamo successfully rescued three Americans in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

The group arrived Tuesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Project Dynamo said in a news release. Project Dynamo has been carrying out high-risk civilian rescues in Ukraine and Afghanistan for the last year, undergoing dangerous operations to bring Americans home. 

The Project Dynamo team, including co-founder Bryan Stern, operations manager Abdul Wasit and case manager Masouda Noorzad, conducted the most recent operation codenamed "SLINGSHOT 8" bringing home 83-year-old Rahima Sadaat, 72-year-old Noor Mohammad Ataie and his wife, Anisa Ataie, 59.

The operation had been planned for months to get the three from Kabul, Afghanistan, to JFK Airport.

"Project DYNAMO’s policy is that confirmed American citizens and residents never go to refugee camps," the nonprofit said in a news release.

Stern raced over from Ukraine to Kabul to carry out SLINGSHOT 8 after the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv "issued a security alert for any Americans in Ukraine to leave immediately due to the high probability of increased Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure."

Project Dynamo said Sadaat was visiting family in Afghanistan in March 2021 before the Taliban took over. She was forced into hiding with other family members near Kabul for more than a year. Under Taliban law, it's unlawful for women to travel alone. 

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Anisa and Noore Mohammed Ataie were visiting family in April 2021 and fell into a similar situation. 

Now back in the U.S., Sadaat plans to return to her home in Virginia, and the Ataies to their home in California.

“Project DYNAMO is currently conducting rescue operations in two separate conflict zones on two different continents with no U.S. government presence nor functioning embassy in either country, where any Americans in these areas are at high-risk and far from safe,” Stern said. “Russians are actively searching for Americans to illegally arrest, trade, or execute; the Taliban is looking to detain or kill any American or allies of the West in Afghanistan. Both of these countries have Americans and allies there with no way out and little to no ability for the U.S. government to assist. In the majority of these cases, Project DYNAMO and our donors are their last hope.”

Those who wish to donate to or learn more about Project Dynamo's mission can do so by clicking here. Anyone in need of evacuation is urged to register online.

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