A phone call came at midnight on August 15, 2021, hours after Kabul had fallen.
“Hakim,” a guy Susan Katz Keating had been trying to help escape Afghanistan, called her from his not-so-safe city home. Unfortunately, neither her organization nor the United States government had the resources to mount a rescue mission. But to her friends in danger, the fact that she was an American meant everything.
She had been discussing Afghan history with Hakim for a while. The course of events suddenly took a dramatic turn, putting Hakim and his loved ones in harm’s way.
Keating says she is not an expert on exfil. She’s just a journalist. She’s been in dangerous situations before, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland and reporting from Dubrovnik, Boston, and Washington, D.C., but she wasn’t involved in rescue operations. After the United States withdrew its forces from Afghanistan, she learned that many Afghans were trapped and in imminent danger.
Hakim and his loved ones were among them. She was intent on lending a hand but, she was at a loss as to how.
Then her American pal Brad showed up.
Brad Lowe is a veteran security expert who is invaluable to have on your side if you’ve been kidnapped but whom you should avoid at all costs if you’re the one doing the kidnapping.
A chance encounter revealed that he was attempting to save his pals from collapsing Afghanistan and was rugged, savvy, and resourceful. She reached out to Brad to see if he could assist Hakim, filling him in on the scenario. In an instant, he had consented.
Some relief washed over her. In other words, Brad had plenty of experience.
After hearing that the Taliban were quickly taking over a number of cities in Afghanistan, Brad decided to join the migration last year.
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