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FLASHBACK: The 5 Terrorists Obama Let Out Of Gitmo For Bergdahl

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military without serving any jail time after five years in Taliban captivity prompted by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

The shock decision flies in the face of the 14-year sentence recommended by military prosecutors and was met with intense derision from President Donald Trump. Bergdahl’s defenders say he suffered intense torture at the hands of the Taliban and has suffered enough to pay for his crimes.

Bergdahl was originally freed in 2014 after former President Barack Obama transferred five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo bay to Qatar in exchange for his release by the militant group. All five Taliban militants were senior figures in the insurgent force and assessed as major threats to U.S. interests during their detention at the military prison.

The terrorists include Mohammad Fazl, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari. Sen. John McCain of Arizona described the men as the “hardest of the hard core” at the time, criticizing Obama’s decision to release them without consulting Congress.

Fazl is thought by the U.N. to be responsible for war crimes against religious minorities in Afghanistan during his time in the Taliban government in Afghanistan and was assessed likely in 2008 to “establish ties with … elements participating in hostilities against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.”

Wasiq was noted in military records to be “central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and coalition forces after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks,” noting his direct role in attacking U.S. troops after the invasion of Afghanistan.

 

Nori is a relative of another senior Taliban commander and “continues to be a significant figure encouraging acts of aggression” as of a 2008 military assessment.

Khairkhwa was directly associated with former al-Qaida leader Osama Bin-laden and likely associated once with future al-Qaida in Iraq emir Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi during his time in Afghanistan. He also served as the Taliban government’s minister of interior.

Omari was directly “involved in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces” and also associated himself with weapons smuggling for the group.

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