BREAKING: Gold Star father whose son was killed in Afghanistan withdrawal ARRESTED after yelling ‘Abbey Gate’ at Biden during SOTU

Steve Nikoui, father of Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, was reportedly charged with a misdemeanor.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

UPDATE: In the early hours of the morning on Friday, Nikoui was freed.

Original story follows:

The father of a US soldier killed in Afghanistan during Biden’s disastrous withdrawal has reportedly been arrested after shouting "Abbey Gate" and "13 Marines" during Biden’s State of the Union address. "Abbey Gate" is a reference to the location of the suicide bombing by ISIS-K during the chaotic withdrawal that killed 13 US service members and 170 Afghan civilians.

Steve Nikoui, father of Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, stood in the upstairs visitor galley and began shouting after Biden said during his speech, "America is safer today than when I took office." Nikoui was seen being escorted out of the galley.

NIkoui was an invited guest of Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).

Mast posted on X after the arrest, "The Sergeant at Arms is holding my State of the Union guest for yelling at POTUS in protest because his son was killed in action at the Abbey Gate due to Biden’s incompetence. So much for the right to petition our government for the redress of grievances."

Mast continued, "To this day, no Biden official has been dismissed or demoted as a result of the deadly and catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan. I will not stop until the Biden Administration is HELD ACCOUNTABLE for its disastrous policies."

In a follow-up post, Mast added, "For the last three SOTU speeches, Joe Biden REFUSED to say the names of the 13 U.S. service members who were killed by his disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. I couldn’t support this effort more. Say their names!"

A spokesperson for the Capitol Police told Axios. "Tonight, at approximately 10:15 pm, a man disrupted the State of the Union Address by yelling. Our officers warned him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries and was arrested."

According to Capitol Police, Nikoui was charged with a misdemeanor of "crowding, obstructing or incommoding," carrying a fine of up to $500 and 90 days in prison.

In April 2021, Biden declared his withdrawal plans, announcing that troop departures would commence on May 1. The US military left Bagram Air Base in July, leaving behind military equipment and assets valued at 7 billion dollars. On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul, prompting Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani to flee to Tajikistan.

In response to the withdrawal, Republicans on the Foreign Affairs Committee released a report in 2021 condemning Biden's decision. On August 26, 2021, an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 13 Marines, including Nikoui's son.

Following his son’s death, Nikoui told Fox News that the situation at the Kabul Airport was a "turkey shoot," "chaotic," and "not really planned out." 

In late August of 2023, President Donald Trump held a dinner with the Gold Star families of those killed in the attack, at which Nikoui was present, according to The Spectator.

The names of the 13 Americans killed during Biden's botched withdrawal are:

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25
Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23
Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31
Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22
Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23
Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22
Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20
Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20
Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20
Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20
Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20
Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22
Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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