Navy commandos attempt rescue mission of US contractor in Afghanistan

Mark Frerichs, a contractor from Illinois, poses in Iraq in this undated photo obtained from Twitter that he would include with his resume when job hunting. Frerichs was abducted in Afghanistan in January 2020. (Twitter via AP)

As political infighting threatens to upend the fragile peace process in Afghanistan, one American family is trying to figure out the whereabouts of Mark Frerichs, a contractor who went missing in January.

Despite efforts by multiple government agencies and the US Navy commandos to locate Frerichs, very little measurable success has been noted thus far.

A Navy veteran, Frerichs came to Afghanistan as a contractor and went missing at the beginning of the year.

According to the Associated Press, the rescue effort is being coordinated through the FBI-led Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, who is working alongside the State Department and US Military to try and track down Frerichs.

Officials believe that the Taliban may have held the contractor in Khost, an eastern province along the border with Pakistan.

It is surmised that the Haqqani Network is responsible for kidnapping and trafficking Frerichs, and his fate is unknown.

The United States were tracking cell phone location pings related to Frerichs’ captors, but have since gone cold.

“Operationally, the reason why time is critical in a kidnapping is because you can close the distance quicker, ideally immediately or by utilizing sources,”  a US official said. “This is not the case right now. He could be two houses down from where he was taken and we would not know.”

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