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Afghan Villagers Freed From Islamic State Terrorist Group Control Join Afghan National Security Forces and provincial Police

Afghan joint forces drove IS extremists out of the Pachir Agam district in Nangarhar province about two weeks ago

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Afghan security forces take positions following an operation against Islamic State militants in the Pachir Agam district of Nangarhar province, Dec. 3, 2016. VOA
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December 17, 2016: Grateful residents of eastern Afghanistan whose villages were freed from control by Islamic State militants have begun enlisting for service with the Afghan National Security Forces and provincial police, local authorities say.

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Afghan joint forces drove IS extremists out of the Pachir Agam district in Nangarhar province about two weeks ago, and since then hundreds of men have joined the central government’s security forces to help ensure that IS radicals cannot return to the area.

The local men previously resisted IS occupation, but they have now been armed by the government, according to Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial administration.

“These 500 men will be fighting within the Afghan National Security Forces framework in the next few days,” Khogyani told VOA Saturday.

The recruits will be assigned to six security checkpoints in vulnerable areas of the district, which borders Pakistan. The spokesman said elements of the Afghan National Security Forces would remain in the area to assist in the transition.

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A spokesman for the Nangarhar police, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, told VOA that villagers who deemed battle ready would be phased into the provincial police force. The recruits are asking for heavy weapons, he added, and those are expected to come from the central government’s national security department.

Dozens still held captive

IS militants attacked the Pachir Agam district early last month, destroying many homes and seizing more than 70 local men as captives, authorities said. Residents say IS fighters are thought to still be holding 63 captives.

IS’s arrival in Pachir Agam is the latest chapter in a quarter-century of conflict. The district was a stronghold of resistance fighters against armed forces of the Soviet Union during the 1980s and came under heavy air attack when the U.S. entered Afghanistan in pursuit of al-Qaida terrorists and the Taliban beginning in late 2001.

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The district includes the cave complex known as Tora Bora, one of the last areas of Afghanistan that al-Qaida held before a civilian, non-Taliban government was restored in Kabul. (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)