LONDON (Reuters) – An individual on a “no-fly” list has been flown from Afghanistan to the United Kingdom on a British military plane as part of evacuation efforts from Kabul airport, but is no longer considered a risk, the government said on Monday.
The unidentified individual was flown into Birmingham in central England, Sky News had earlier reported, despite being in the watch list to prevent those considered to be suspected militants or to pose a security threat from travelling to Britain.
“An individual was flagged to the Home Office as part of the rigorous checks process, involving the police, security services and others,” a Home Office (interior ministry) spokesperson said in a statement.
“However, upon further investigation, they are not a person of interest to the security agencies or law enforcement.”
Sky had reported that lawmakers were told in a briefing by a senior Border Force official that five people on the watch list had tried to leave Afghanistan with British help, and four of them had been stopped. The fifth person was the one who had made it through to Birmingham.
A government source said the individual in question had now been allowed to continue through the process dealing with those evacuated from Afghanistan.
“There are people in Afghanistan who represent a serious threat to national security and public safety,” a government spokesperson said.
“That is why thorough checks are taking place by government, our world-class intelligence agencies and others. If someone is assessed as presenting as a risk to our country, we will take action.”
Britain has evacuated more than 6,000 people from Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control, including British nationals and their dependants, embassy staff, and Afghan nationals eligible under its Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy programme.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Alison Williams)