A U.S. official has confirmed that an American in Afghanistan has been kidnapped, as first reported by Newsweek.
Newsweek has identified the missing U.S. citizen as Mark R. Frerichs, a former Navy diver who has worked as a logistician and civil engineer in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and other conflict zones for the past 10 years, according to Frerichs Linkedin profile.
No information was available about Frerichs' current job in Afghanistan or how he was reportedly kidnapped on Jan. 31 in Khost province.
The State Department and FBI are currently looking for Frerichs, according to Newsweek reporters James LaPorta, Tom O'Connor, and Naveed Jamali.
A State Department spokesperson provided Task & Purpose with a generic statement when asked if an American in Afghanistan had been kidnapped.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said. “We have no further comment.”
U.S. officials suspect that the Haqqani network is responsible for taking Frerichs, Newsweek reported. The group is affiliated with the Taliban.
In 2009, the Taliban captured Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had walked off his base in Afghanistan. Bergdahl was held for five years until being released in 2014 as part of a prisoner exchange.
Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen was shot in the head in July 2009 while searching for Bergdahl. Unable to walk or speak for the rest of his life, Allen died in October at the age of 46.