3 Americans are back in the United States after hiding from the Taliban for more than a year

For more than a year they feared for their lives hiding from the Taliban but now three American residents are back on U.S. soil after a Tampa-based non-profit helped to rescue them. 

The rescue comes on the 1st anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

A family member of one of the evacuees heard about Project Dynamo through a news report and was able to safely get their family member in touch with them but it was not an easy task. More than a month of preparation went into the operation to make sure everything went according to plan.

"The women cried as we landed. The women were crying. It's a lot of built of anticipation and stress and fear," Project Dynamo Co-Founder Bryan Stern said.

Eighty-three-year-old Rahima Sadaat, along with 72-year-old Noor Mohammad Ataie and his wife 59-year-old Anisa Ataie, all spent more than one year hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan. 

Noor Mohammad and his wife initially traveled there in April 2021 to visit family for a few months but found themselves trapped after the U.S. troops withdrew and the Taliban took over. 

"The fear of death and the waiting to get caught and the waiting to die. And that whole thing is a sadly common narrative," Stern said.

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Family in the states were able to connect Sadaat and Mohammad and his wife with Tampa-based non-profit Project Dynamo which spent a month planning the escape.

"The Taliban is everywhere. They're in control. So, you know, when you go through immigration at Kabul International Airport. You are looking at a Taliban passport guy. And that can that could be catastrophic," Stern shared.

Monday, the three evacuees, along with Stern and his team of two, flew from Kabul to the UAE later landing at JFK airport Tuesday.

"It's a mousetrap. It's a multi-layered, multilayered mechanism designed to safely get people from where they are to where they need to be," Stern explained.

READ: Six months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Project Dynamo continues mission to rescue Americans

Since getting back, Stern says he's already getting calls from more people in need in help. Over the last year, they've conducted more than 100 missions rescuing Americans from Afghanistan and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

"It's the best work I've done in my career. There's nothing I'd rather be doing and no place I'd rather be," Stern said.

All three evacuees are American residents. Sadaat will be heading back to her home in Virginia. Mohammad and his wife are heading back to their home in Sacramento.