‘Taliban Five’ Swap for Sgt. Bergdahl May Turn Into ‘Nightmare Scenario’ for Obama with Latest News

Last year, five senior Taliban leaders were released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for U.S Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, under the condition that the terrorists would be under constant surveillance of the Qatar government.

As of next week, however, they will be able to roam freely.

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Image Credit: Twitter

The 2014 swap included militant leaders Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khirullah Khairkhwa, Mohammad Nabi Omari, Mohammad A Fazl and Mullah Norullah Noori in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after he abandoned his Army post in Afghanistan.

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Image Credit: Twitter

As the travel ban comes to an end, questions arise about the militants’ next moves.

Reports show that the U.S. government has spoken with Qatar officials about extending the June 1st release date, but as of now, no official announcement has been made.

Earlier this month, 13 Republican members of the House Intelligence committee wrote Obama pleading for him to urge Qatar to extend travel restrictions on the former detainees indefinitely, stating:

“If, as scheduled, Qatar permits these five former detainees to possess passports and travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan when the memorandum of understanding expires on June 1, they will be at liberty to play an even more direct role in attacks against the men and women of our military.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, stated:

“I’m more worried about month number 13 than the first 12.”

“The big question is what comes next.”

Despite these concerns, the Obama administration has given only “radio silence” about the potential threat, according to Joe Kasper, spokesman for House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter R-Calif. In an email, Kasper wrote:

“The nightmare scenario for the Administration is if any of these guys show up again within the global battlespace, be it in some kind of leadership position or just as messengers of threats or propaganda.”

Because the Taliban detainees are middle-aged or older, U.S. officials feel that it would be unlikely for them to find their way back the battlefield. However, they could still have active leadership roles in the terrorist organization.

All of this comes after the controversy surrounding last year’s swap for Bergdahl, who was later charged with desertion by the U.S. military.

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Image Credit: Twitter

During the time of the exchange, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted that all five would rejoin Taliban at the first opportunity—and, in fact, during their time under surveillance, at least one of the militants was able to get in contact with Taliban officials.

Four of the five detainees are still under a separate travel ban set in place by the United Nations, but reports have shown that in the past year, ‘blacklisted’ individuals have still managed to get through airport security.

The State Department is working to mitigate the risk of the former Guantanamo detainees making their way onto commercial airplanes.

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2015 at 2:30 AM and is filed under Postings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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