Afghanistan: Person on no-fly list flown to UK during Kabul evacuationon August 24, 2021 at 10:43 am

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However they are not deemed a person of interest to security agencies or police after an investigation.

People are escorted to military planes at Kabul airport

image sourceEPA

A person from Afghanistan on the UK’s no-fly watch list was flown into Birmingham as part of the evacuation of Kabul, government officials confirmed.

The individual, who was identified as being on the list on arrival in the UK, was later not deemed a person of interest after investigation.

The no-fly watch list is used to stop people coming to the UK who are thought to be a security threat.

The Home Office said the person was flagged in a “rigorous checks process”.

Someone can be placed on the no-fly watch list due to previous serious criminal conduct as well as terrorism.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An organised exit strategy would have ensured the necessary checks were in place, so this kind of lapse couldn’t happen.”


by Daniel Sandford, BBC home affairs correspondent

The UK’s “no-fly” watch list is designed to keep people out of the country who are considered to pose a terrorism security risk, or some other kind of risk – such as involvement in serious criminality or stirring up unrest.

In normal circumstances the list should stop people getting visas to the UK or getting on to a plane.

But even then there is a backstop – Border Force staff at UK airports.

In the cauldron of chaos that is Kabul airport it is perhaps unsurprising that a mistake was made, and ministers say we should be reassured that the error was corrected on arrival at Birmingham Airport.

In this case it turns out that the concerns about the individual were out of date anyway.

But with multiple planes packed with people heading to the UK taking off from Kabul every day, ministers and officials know it is important to cut down on the mistakes.

Not least of all because of a threat to the aircraft and passengers themselves. But also because in the current circumstances there is no chance of deporting anyone considered a risk back to Afghanistan.


Afghanistan is on the Covid travel red list, meaning arrivals into England must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

The UK is one of a number of Western countries processing people eligible for evacuation out of Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of Kabul.

A team at Kabul airport led by the British ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow is under huge pressure to process as many people as possible ahead of a 31 August deadline.

The UK has evacuated 8,458 people from Afghanistan since 13 August, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Those evacuated include British nationals, diplomatic staff, and Afghans eligible for relocation because they worked for the UK government in frontline roles or are otherwise considered to be at risk under a Taliban administration.

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