On May 31, 2014 President Obama announced that he transferred five Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar in exchange for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl who was held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Breitbart provided the following information about the Taliban 5 in December of 2015 –
The Taliban Five – Mohammad Fazl, Mohammed Nabi, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori, and Khairullah Khairkhwa – were freed from Guantánamo in exchange for Bergdahl.
Mohammed Fazl is one of the first freed Guantanamo detainees to be retained from Afghanistan, accused by the UN of committing war crimes, and suspected of taking part in the slaughter of thousands of Shiite Muslims.
Mohammad Nabi, the former chief of Taliban security, arranged cooperative offenses with Al Qaeda, according to declassified files.
Abdul Haq Wasiq, a deputy to the deceased Taliban chief, Mullah Omar, was one of the top intelligence officials for the jihadi leader. He arranged training with top Al Qaeda operatives.
Mullah Norullah Nori is a senior Taliban commander who is also wanted by the UN for war crimes, and also took part in the suspected mass killing campaign against Shiites.
Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban commander, has ties to the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran. He was reportedly trusted by Taliban chief Mullah Omar to negotiate ties with Iran.
Breitbart also noted more than a year ago that a House of Representatives report stated that at “least three of the five Taliban leaders… have tried to plug back into their old terror network” and there were indications then that Qatar was eager to have the Taliban Five depart their country. Breitbart also noted that, “If the Taliban Five leave (or have already left) Qatar, there is virtually no measure in place to track the former Guantanamo detainees, or prevent them from re-emerging on the battlefield.”
President-elect Donald Trump was highly critical of Bergdahl on the campaign trail, calling him a “dirty, rotten traitor”. Here is then-candidate Trump railing against “traitor” Bergdahl.
The Government Accountability Office concluded that the Obama Administration broke the law in the Bergdahl swap because Obama failed to notify Congressional Committees at least 30 days in advance of the deal.
In an interview on the O’Reilly Factor shortly after the terrorist exchange, Lt. Colonel Tony Schaffer added that in addition to the Taliban 5, Obama paid $5 Billion in the exchange for Bergdahl.
This was back in the news yesterday as it was reported that Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty for desertion.
It was long reported that Bergdahl deserted his post and several of his brothers-in-arms were killed trying to locate him.
Today the exact location of the Taliban 5 was unknown for years. There were no reports on their whereabouts in several years.
The five released Gitmo 5 are now leading the Taliban’s political office in Qatar.
The Military Times reported:
Five members of the Afghan Taliban who were freed from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have joined the insurgent group’s political office in Qatar, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday.
They will now be among Taliban representatives negotiating for peace in Afghanistan, a sign some negotiators in Kabul say indicates the Taliban’s desire for a peace pact.
Others fear the five, all of whom were close to the insurgent group’s founder and hard-line leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, bring with them the same ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam that characterized the group’s five-year rule that ended in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion.
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“The Taliban are bringing back their old generation, which means the Taliban have not changed their thinking or their leadership,” said Haroun Mir, political analyst in the Afghan capital. “What we are more worried about is if tomorrow the Taliban say ‘we are ready to negotiate,’ who will represent Kabul? That is the big challenge because the government is so divided, not just ideologically but on ethnic lines.”
Efforts to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan’s protracted war have accelerated since Washington appointed Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad as envoy to find a peaceful end to America’s longest war, which has already cost the U.S. more than $900 billion.
Read the rest here.