The United States bargained with the Taliban in order to release an American Prisoner-of-War from terrorist captivity. President Barack Obama went against the American rule of avoiding negotiations with terrorists, but Sergeant Bowe Berdahl was freed in exchange for the release of five high-risk Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay.
The leader of the Taliban released a statement on the exchange saying,“We shall thank almighty for this great victory. The sacrifice of our Mujahedin [fighters] have resulted in the release of our senior leaders from the hand of the enemy.”
Many have been critical of the exchange due to the Taliban’s status as terrorists that posed a “high risk” to the United States. Afghans were not supportive of the deal as well, calling it a “breach of international law.”
One of the five prisoners, senior military commander Mullah Norullah Noori, was wanted for the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims. Noori reportedly fought for Al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001.
The former Guantanamo prisoners are now free in Qatar.
Publication date: June 2, 2014