‘Lone Survivor’ Afghan Rescuer Seeks U.S. Asylum Following Death Threats From Taliban

The brave Afghan rescuer of the “Lone Survivor,” Marcus Lutrell, is seeking asylum in the U.S., following increased death threats from the Taliban to him and his family.

Lutrell — a former American Navy SEAL who earned a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his actions — was being hunted by the terrorist group, after his unit came under fire, killing all its members. Just as the enemy was closing in and Lutrell thought he would also be killed, Mohammed Gulab took the severely injured “Lone Survivor” into his home, saving his life.

Mohammed’s brave actions became widely known in the movie Lone Survivor, in which Mark Wahlberg portrays Lutrell. The dramatic rescue infuriated the Taliban, and once the American soldier was evacuated by friendly forces, Gulab was marked a dead man by the enemy.

Marcus Lutrell and Mohammed Gulab
Marcus Lutrell and Mohammed Gulab in 2013 (Image via CBS’ 60 Minutes)

Additionally, a family member was murdered, and the rescuer’s home was destroyed in an attack by the Taliban, according to New York immigration attorney Michael Wildes, who spoke to CBS News Wednesday. Wildes is working pro bono to bring Mohammed and his family to the U.S.

“They attacked him. They shot him. They’ve put (rocket-propelled grenades) through his household. He’s been living and hiding, and never in the same place in the same evening.”

Lone Survivor was a movie based on Marcus Lutrell’s book of the same name, which recounts a failed Navy SEAL mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah in late June 2005. Known as Operation Red Wings, the disastrous undertaking resulted in 19 members of the U.S. military being killed by the Taliban.

The “Lone Survivor” was part of a four-man reconnaissance team who set out to locate the Taliban leader, but as fate would have it, their cover was blown when a goat herder came upon them in the woods and revealed the unit’s hiding place to the enemy.

A gun battle ensued, in which Lutrell’s comrades were killed one by one, until he was the only one left standing. As the Taliban closed in on the badly injured “Lone Survivor,” he reached the village where Mohammed Gulab lived. Lutrell recounted the moment the two men met for the first time during an interview with the Today show.

“He started screaming, ‘American,’ and I spun around. I was on my knees, and I had my gun at my hip — safety off, tension down on my trigger. He was looking right down at me. I could see the whites of his eyes.”

Mohammed Gulab also said that he had been trying to warn Lutrell, but the SEAL didn’t understand him. By that point, the epic battle between the small American unit and Taliban terrorist was being talked about in the village.

“I was trying to tell him I wasn’t Taliban. I know that many enemy was looking for him in the mountains and I was trying to warn him that you must be careful.”

Mohammed became the hero who saved the “Lone Survivor’s” life, as he and other villages took the injured SEAL into his home. Gulab even sent his father to let American forces trying to reach Lutrell know where the soldier was. Members of his family came under fire, and two of them lost their lives, but he has no regrets.

Lone Survivor poster

“I will always have my honor, and I’ll hold it until my death,” he said.

Since Mohammed Gulab’s heroics, the Afghan has come to the U.S. twice and visited with Lutrell’s family. The “Lone Survivor” has been lobbying American authorities to allow his savior to get a green card.

According to Fox News, several agencies have to approve Mohammed’s request. The Department of Homeland Security will ultimately make the decision as to whether or not to grant Gulab asylum, but at this time, the agency has not made a comment.

The ancient code of the Pashtunwali, a non-written ethical code and traditional lifestyle, dictates that you offer aid for a person in need from his enemies. Mohammed Gulab was unwavering in his decision to take Luttrell into his home.

Do you think the U.S. should grant asylum to the “Lone Survivor” rescuer?

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