A final risky expedition called the “Pineapple Express” was conducted by an all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war to rescue at-risk Afghan elite forces men and their families.

The organisation claimed to have worked “informally” with the US military and embassy to transport individuals in the middle of the night.

According to ABC News, “as of Thursday morning, the organisation said it had transported as many as 500 Afghan special operators, assets, and facilitators, as well as their families, into the airport in Kabul overnight, handing them all over to the protective custody of the US military.”

“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,” Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the private rescue effort, told ABC News.

The mission, according to Mann, was a “Jason Bourne” thriller with intense sequences every 10 minutes.

“This Herculean effort would not have been possible without the unofficial heroes within the airfield who violated instructions not to assist beyond the airport boundary by wading into sewage ditches and capturing these targeted persons who were flashing pineapples on their phones,” Mann added.

Captain Zac Lois of the Green Berets told ABC News that he was both proud and amazed by the effort.

“That is an incredible figure for an organisation that was just put together a few days before operations began, and the majority of its members had never met in person,” Lois added.

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