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Travel Guides – Afghans reportedly escaped Kabul through a CIA gate so secret not even the Taliban knew it existed

Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Hamid Karzai International Airport. DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images

In the final 48 hours of the United States’ evacuation from Afghanistan last month, many vulnerable Afghans who were not able to make it through Taliban checkpoints blocking access to Kabul’s airport were still able to escape the country when the CIA opened a back door about two miles away from the main airport gates. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the gate, referred to as Glory Gate or Liberty Gate.

The entrance, which was so secretive that even the Taliban was unaware of its existence, was initially used to smuggle out the CIA’s priority cases, like intelligence assets or local agents, but its role expanded as the clock wound down.

Sam Aronson, a political officer at the State Department, was on duty at Glory Gate in late August when several buses carrying Afghans who worked for the U.S. Embassy arrived without incident. So, he asked if they could also start ushering through families on the street who were on an evacuation waitlist, the Journal reports. He got the go ahead as long as he didn’t “blow our gate,” he told the Journal, and they completed the task successfully. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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