What would you do if you were taken captive after you lent a hand to benefit other people? This is the story of Mark Frerichs: an abducted American pleading for his release as a victim of decades-long insurgency operations crewed by terrorist organizations. He is entering his second year of confinement by the Taliban– and he is now pleading for his freedom.

Frerichs, 60, a civil engineer and contractor from Lombard, Illinois, was taken hostage in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, in January of 2020. 

Mark Frerichs was speaking in a video release. (Screenshot taken from source: The New Yorker)

When he was taken hostage, Frerichs was purportedly working on development projects in Afghanistan for the benefit of the Afghan people, according to the US Department of State. It is reported that he is being held by the Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban. Before the incident, Frerichs was a member of the US Navy.

One week after Frerichs’ disappearance in Kabul Province, a news outlet stated that US intelligence officers were able to track Frerichs’ mobile phone and conducted a search of a community in the vicinity of where he was last seen. Unfortunately, the raid was fruitless even though they effectively rounded up that village’s residents.