With many still attempting to flee Afghanistan, Rep. Mann demands answers about possible ransoms

FILE - Afghan refugees are seated as they are being processed inside Hangar 5 at Ramstein Air...
FILE - Afghan refugees are seated as they are being processed inside Hangar 5 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP)(Olivier Douliery | AP)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 2:23 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With many still trying to flee Afghanistan, which is now under Taliban rule, Congressman Tracey Mann has demanded answers from the Secretary of State regarding whether the U.S. has paid any money to the Taliban for the release of American citizens.

U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (KS-01) says he sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinkin to express deep concerns about how the Biden Administration has handled the evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan and negotiations that may have led to the payment of ransoms.

“The American people deserve to know whether the United States has provided any financial assistance to the Taliban in exchange for the release of American citizens, or whether the Taliban has requested such assistance, which amounts to ransom,” said Rep. Mann. “The State Department owes the American people an answer regarding whether President Biden has given the Taliban the upper hand and put the United States in the position of funding a terrorist regime to get our fellow citizens home.”

Mann said any negotiations which led to a form payment of ransom will give the Taliban means that could be used to attack the U.S. and its allies.

“We’re teaching the Taliban that holding Americans hostage is an effective way to make money,” said Rep. Banks.

Mann said he and his colleagues also requested the Biden Administration be completely transparent by providing copies of all diplomatic documents and communications about unfreezing former Afghan government assets and sanctions relief to the Taliban within 10 days of a request.

Rep. Mann said U.S. Representative and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN), U.S. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), and 19 other Republican Study Committee members joined him on the letter.

To read the full letter, click HERE.

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