Six planes funded by a Glenn Beck-founded charity were identified as some of evacuation aircrafts being grounded by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a report said.
The flights chartered by Mercury One cost the organization $750,000 each and are currently sitting empty at an airport in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, an official with a non-governmental organization working on the evacuation told Newsweek.
More than 1,600 people, including over 100 Americans are expected to evacuate the country on the planes, which were chartered from Afghanistan’s largest private airline, Kam Air, the report said.
The NGO official told Newsweek that nobody is aboard the idle planes.
“The planes are currently empty and its passengers are still waiting in their safe houses for clearance for takeoff from the Taliban,” the official told the publication.
“I have 1,600 plus people on the master manifest that want to fly, of which 123 are Americans and the rest are Special Immigration Visas.”
Another NGO official told the outlet that the planes have not taken off because the Taliban has failed to grant “final clearance” amid negotiations with the State Department that have been “stuck at this point.”
Earlier Sunday, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul said six airplanes carrying Americans and Afghan refugees were being held “hostage” by the Taliban at the airport in Mazar-i-Sharif.
“They are not clearing airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple days, these planes, and they’re not allowed to leave,” McCaul said on “Fox News Sunday”
“We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really turning into a hostage situation where they’re not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”