As US military troops withdraw from Afghanistan in haste, many American citizens are left behind. The Taliban took control of Kabul over the weekend, something that we did not anticipate. The citizens left behind are fearing for their lives, and the Biden administration is under pressure to get them back quickly and safely. But the US citizen and Navy Veteran Mark Frerich are still under Taliban’s captivity since 2020.
Frerich was kidnapped by the Taliban in January of 2020 and has remained their hostage since. Both Trump and Biden had plenty of time to negotiate his release and bring him back home, but it seems they had other priorities. Even now, as Biden rushes the US troops to evacuate the citizens left behind, there are no visible actions to have Frerich released from the Taliban’s captivity. Biden talked about Frerich only once during a speech in July. Though his location is still unknown, the government officials are reassuring that they are working towards his release.
Frerichs’s sister, Charlene Cakora, made a statement urging the US government not to forget Frerich. In her opinion, she pledged the readers not to forget her brother, the hostage of the Taliban. She also mentioned that all US citizens deserve to come home but so does her brother. Hostage Advocate Eric Lebson stated that Frerich might meet the same fate as Bob Levinson, who was detained in Afghanistan in 2007 is now presumed dead. He met this fate just because his government had better things to do, and as for Mark, he stands on the verge of being left behind as Biden’s only focus is to have the US citizens of Kabul evacuated.
The Taliban have put up negotiation for the exchange of Frerich with Bashir Noorzai, a drug trafficker with close ties with the Taliban’s captured by the US but Trump showed no interest to make such exchange, and neither did Biden. As time passes, the chances for the exchange are also becoming weaker and weaker. The US might lose another citizen as the Taliban continue to secure more leverage over the US in Afghanistan.