The five Taliban prisoners in the proposed exchange are from top left: Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa. (NY Times)
Afghan officials worry the Taliban leaders released by Barack obama will rejoin the battle against the government.
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The release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for a U.S. soldier has drawn criticism from some Afghans, who say the detainees are dangerous and will rekindle ties with terrorist networks to resume fighting, just as most foreign troops leave.
The men had been held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002 and were classed by the Pentagon as “high-risk” and “likely to pose a threat”.
Two are also implicated in the murder of thousands of minority Shi’ite Muslims in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. military.
They were released in a swap with U.S. army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war held in Afghanistan who was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Sunday.
“They will definitely go back to fight, if health-wise they are able to go,” said a top official at Afghanistan’s spy agency, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the topic.
“They will be very dangerous people, because they have connections with regional and international terror organizations around the world.”
Afghan security officers gather around the body of a Taliban insurgent after Taliban fighters stormed a government building in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP-Yahoo)
** At least 27% of released Gitmo detainees return to terror.