SHOCKER: Prisoner Exchanged For Bergdahl Returns To The Taliban
At least one of the former Taliban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May 2014 has reportedly joined back up with the Taliban, U.S. officials told CNN.
The recent revelation, reaffirmed by Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday, comes at a time when the Obama administration is under considerable fire after Guantanamo detainees continue to return to terrorism. (RELATED: Former Guantanamo Jailbird Now A Recruiter For ISIS In Afghanistan)
According to Graham, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, all five former detainees still reside in Qatar, which means that the Middle Eastern country has at least upheld its part of the agreement to monitor the recently released terrorists for a year. However, Graham is pessimistic about the future, and his pessimism has only increased based on new reports that the Taliban can count yet another former Guantanamo detainee among its ranks.
“It’s just a year deal,” Graham told The Associated Press. “Just as sure as we’re sitting here, they’re going back to the fight.”
“They’ve had some Haqqani people come to meet with them…They’re reaching out. The Taliban five are communicating with people inside Afghanistan.”
Haqqani operates between Afghanistan and Pakistan as a relatively independent segment of the Afghan Taliban. In 2012, the State Department confirmed Haqqani as a terrorist organization.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told Fox News that the report of a former detainee returning to the Taliban isn’t at all surprising, saying that it was “almost inevitable.”
Yet, White House spokesman Josh Earnest repeated the administration’s line again on Thursday that Guantanamo Bay’s existence serves only to spur recruitment to al-Qaida. The Obama administration has downplayed statistics showing a remarkable number of detainees returning to terrorism. However, the national intelligence’s most recent report in September 2014, which is conducted every six months, indicated that 17 percent of former detainees have returned to terrorist activities. An additional 12 percent are suspected of terrorism.
At this point in time, the identity of the former detainee who reportedly is attempting to make contact with the Taliban is unclear, but the five detainees released last year were high-valued Taliban assets. Abdul Haq Wasiq operated as the deputy minister of intelligence for the Taliban. Mullah Norullah Nori was a senior Taliban commander. Khairullah Khairkhwa had direct ties to Osama bin Laden. Mohammed Nabi worked as chief of security for the Taliban. And finally, Mohammad Fazl was responsible for mass killings of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan.
“The Defense Department has a close security partnership with the government of Qatar. We’re confident in our ability to continue to mitigate any threat that may be posed by the former Guantanamo detainees,” said a statement from the Pentagon.
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