Escaping the Taliban: Navy Lt. Alex Cornell du Houx helped Fatema Hosseini leave Kabul | USA TODAY 1

Escaping the Taliban: Navy Lt. Alex Cornell du Houx helped Fatema Hosseini leave Kabul | USA TODAY


Journalist Fatema Hosseini meets Navy Lt. Alex Cornell du Houx who played a pivotal role in her escape from Afghanistan as the Taliban closed in.
RELATED: How much did the war in Afghanistan cost?

The Taliban were acting as enforcers. They appeared to have lists of people they definitely did not want to let leave Afghanistan: politicians, judges, helicopter pilots who spent years bombing Taliban positions, high-profile human rights defenders, critics like Fatema from the media. They also were trying to keep some vague order around the airport and deter tens of thousands of people trying to flee. Others were professional bullies and opportunists who saw a chance to solicit a bribe, exert influence, wield power. 

Once at the airport, Fatema had to walk past three airport gates: the main terminal gate, then the Abbey Gate, and finally the East Gate, where we hoped the Ukrainians would be looking for her. 
"Proceed with caution,” Alex said. “Coordinate with the special forces on the ground."
It was a perilous journey, but Fatema Hosseini persevered and managed to get on a flight out of Kabul.

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