The Gitmo Five behind the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap have been dubbed the “Taliban Dream Team” by some lawmakers. Details about the return of the American soldier continue to emerge, but more questions than answers remain.
The Taliban Dream Team was sent to Qatar in exchange for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. He had reportedly been held by the Taliban for the past five years. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, how and why he left the base in Afghanistan is still unclear. Some reports indicate that he was in a wooded area relieving himself when taken, other reports from alleged former unit members maintain that he left his watch post, leaving his gun behind. According to a Neil Cavuto report, Bergdahl mailed home his uniform and books and sent his parents an email saying, “America is disgusting,” but such claims remained largely unconfirmed.
During an interview with Face the Nation on CBS, Republican Arizona Senator and former prisoner of war, John McCain said the Gitmo Five detainees are the “hardest of the hard-core” and the “highest of high-risk people” at the Guantanamo Bay prison. Senator McCain contends that other former Gitmo detainees who have been released have once again returned to fight against American soldiers.
The Obama administration Gitmo prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl included a “no travel” requirement for one year. Many of those angry over the exchange feel that President Barack Obama just allowed the United States to negotiate with terrorists. Outgoing press secretary Jay Carney maintains that prisoner swaps are nothing new in the history of the country.
The Joint Task Force Guantanamo had classified the five detainees hand selected by the Taliban as “high risk to the United States.” Two of the five Gitmo prisoners swapped for Bergdahl are reportedly wanted for war crimes by the United Nations. The men stand accused of being responsible for “thousands” of Shiite Muslim deaths in Afghanistan.
The Gitmo Five
Abdul Haq Wasiq – Wasiq is in his early 40s and is believed to have served as the Taliban Intelligence Deputy Minister. If reports are accurate, the Gitmo five member had “direct access” to Herzb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and Taliban leadership. Abdul Haq Wasiq also allegedly used his position to support Al Qaeda and aid the Taliban in eluding capture.
Mullah Norullah Noori – Noori is believed to be a senior Taliban commander and has been deemed a “military mastermind of sorts” in government documents, a Fox News report stated. He is in his late 40s and allegedly has close ties to senior Taliban officials and particularly leader Mullah Omar. A JTF-GTMO report stated that Noori was the Taliban governor for both the Lagman and Balkh provinces. He is among the Gitmo five members wanted by the United Nations for war crimes.
Mullah Mohammad Fazi – Fazi is reportedly a former Taliban deputy defense minister and was identified as an enemy combatant. The Gitmo prisoner also served as a Taliban Army chief of staff and commanded its 22nd division. Fazi is also accused of war crimes. A Guantanamo report about the prisoner said, “If released, detainee would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with other terrorist groups.”
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa – Khairkhwa was the Taliban governor of the Herat province before being captured and held at Gitmo. He allegedly had “close ties” with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. A Guantanamo task force report on the detainee said that he represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials and called for support for “hostilities” against American and coalition forces to continue.
Mohammad Nabi Omari – Omari reportedly held multiple leadership roles in terror-related groups. Before 9/11, Nabi worked border security for the Taliban, a duty that gave him access to Haqqani Network leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Gitmo task force report said. In 2002, Omari was accused of helpping two Al Qaeda members sneak missiles into Afghanistan.
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