Sep 20, 2022
Mark Frerichs released by Taliban after more than two years in custody Transcript
The U.S. secured a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to bring Navy veteran Mark Frerichs back home. Frerichs was abducted in Kabul in January 2020. Read the transcript here.
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Irika Sargent: (00:00)
An Illinois native is finally free after being held hostage by the Taliban for two and a half years. The Navy veteran was working as a contractor in Afghanistan when he was kidnapped in January of 2020. CBS2 News, Jackie Kostek spoke to the Frerichs family. Just hours after they learned Mark was released. She joins us live from their hometown of Lombard, Jackie.
Jackie Kostek: (00:23)
Irika, you can see that auto body shop behind me that is owned by Mark Frerichs’ father Art, and you can see that sign reads, “President Biden bring home Mark Frerichs, my son. God bless America.” This morning, Art says his daughter got a call from President Biden with good news.
Art Frerichs: (00:42)
Well, she just told me that they got him out. Yeah.
Jackie Kostek: (00:48)
At 3:36 this morning, Mark Frerichs youngest sister Charlene, got a call from President Joe Biden saying that her brother had been released by the Taliban. She didn’t want to speak on camera, but says President Biden called from England, that it was brief and unexpected. She delivered the news to her father shortly after.
Art Frerichs: (01:06)
I think what really helps too is all the people that we know and everything have been praying for him, and I think that is lot to be said for prayer.
Jackie Kostek: (01:19)
Frerichs credits the FBI for keeping his family informed throughout the process, and Senator Tammy Duckworth for pushing for Mark’s release. Senator Duckworth releasing a statement that reads, in part, “It’s a profound relief that Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran who served our nation honorably, is now safely back in American hands after being kidnapped in Afghanistan more than two and a half years ago.” She says she’s thrilled for Mark’s family who has been his champions. Senior White House officials said Frerichs release was the culmination of, “An extraordinary amount of effort and care across the US government for many months.” Frerichs father says for his part, he never lost hope that his son would survive and be released, that he doesn’t know when he’ll see Mark or what he’ll say when he does.
Art Frerichs: (02:05)
I think it’s just going to be spontaneous if I can say anything.
Jackie Kostek: (02:11)
Now, Art said shortly after his son was captured back in January of 2020, he lowered the flag outside of his mechanic shop to half staff. It has remained in that place ever since. Now the family does not yet know when Mark will be able to return home to the US, but they expect to have a family gathering when he does. In Lombard, Jackie Kostek, CBS2 News.
Irika Sargent: (02:33)
All right, Jackie. Thank you.