An Afghan man who helped a Navy SEAL escape from Taliban forces saw some forward progress in his attempt to seek refuge.
Mohammed Gulab -- who rescued Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell from an ambush in 2005 -- and some close family members were safely placed in an undisclosed location outside Afghanistan, said Michael Wildes, Gulab’s immigration attorney.
Luttrell -- the lone survivor out of a four-man recon team -- met Gulab in June 2005 after he escaped from Taliban fighters. During their first interaction, Luttrell had two bullet holes piercing his body, shrapnel wounds in both legs and a broken back.
Gulab brought Luttrell back to his village, knowing he was a member of the US military, and protected the SEAL, despite insurgents calling on him to hand the solider.
Luttrell published a memoir about his experience in Afghanistan in 2007. It later served as an inspiration for the 2013 film, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg.
In the years after the successful extraction of the American soldier, Gulab and his family members received death threats that later escalated into attempts against his and his family's lives.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, the US has taken less than 20,000 Afghan refugees in the last 20 years.
Wildes, who is working on the case pro bono, said he now must work through the complex bureaucracy needed to grant Gulab and his family asylum.
“That means the U.N. That means Homeland Security. That means a lot of officials have to sign off on this,” Wildes said.
Wildes added he hopes the US Department of Homeland Security will grant Gulab asylum.
“We need to herald this guy, and give him a red carpet to America,” Wildes said.