The FBI is investigating an incident at Fort Bliss after a female soldier was attacked by a group of male evacuees from Afghanistan, officials say.
Fort Bliss reported that a “small group” of men attacked the unidentified woman on Sept. 19 at the Doña Ana complex in New Mexico, which houses Afghan refugees.
“We are taking the allegation seriously and have appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Fort Bliss officials said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our service personnel, as well as that of all those on our installations, is paramount.”
No details about the attack or the suspects have been released, but officials said they “provided the service member with appropriate care, guidance and support immediately”.
Fort Bliss has announced plans to improve security by increasing health and safety patrols, adding additional lighting and enforcing a buddy system.
The US Army soldier who made the report belonged to the 1,000 supporting Operation Allies Welcome. The operation aims to “support vulnerable Afghans, including those who have worked alongside us in Afghanistan for the past two decades, while settling safely in the United States,” the US said. Department of Homeland Security.
senator Ted Cruz from Texas tweeted: “Joe Biden made the decision to push tens of thousands of people on planes to make it look like his failed evacuation went well. The truth is he had no idea who he had brought to the US. That’s why I directed a letter who today demand accountability and answers.”
Representative Yvette Herrell, a Republican congresswoman who represents New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district, also summoned President Biden.
“My prayers are with the brave soldier and her family. This is another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan citizens. The American people deserve answers,” she wrote.
Fort Bliss is one of eight US military sites hosting Afghan refugees. Families are kept together in dormitories that can accommodate up to 100 people and single men and women are kept separate.
More than 65,000 people fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul and on September 10, Fort Bliss received 80 flights of incoming refugees.
News week contacted Fort Bliss for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.