An Australian man teaching English at the American University of Afghanistan for less than a month was taken hostage by the Taliban on August 7th. The militants pulled him into a vehicle on one of the main streets in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
U.S. Navy SEALs have since infiltrated the Taliban compound in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan as part of a failed rescue mission. The SEAL team, along with U.S. Army Rangers, became engaged in a fierce firefight with dozens of militants and noted that they missed rescuing the Aussie by a matter of hours. A Pentagon spokesperson said “the hostages were not at the location we suspected.”
The failed SEAL raids targeted a notorious Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network. Pakistan has been coming under increasing fire for its failure to police the terror network by the United States with Senator Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying Pakistan is the
“[G]reatest threat to American soldiers [in Afghanistan] and certainly the greatest threat to the Afghan military and civilians.”
The Haqqani network has a reputation for violence, abduction and extortion, having kidnapped a number of high-profile captives in recent years. Hostages are primarily taken to Taliban strongholds in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where U.S. armed forces are unable to venture legally.