The Guantanamo terrorists released by Barack Obama in exchange for a U.S. Army deserter have joined the Taliban’s “political” office in Qatar. The move reinforces the terrorist group’s operations, according to the Spanish international news agency that broke the story this week.
The five men were incarcerated at the U.S. military prison in southeast Cuba because they held positions of great importance with the terrorist group, including Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. One U.S. Senator referred to the freed jihadists as the “Taliban Dream Team.”
That did not stop Obama from swapping them for a disgraced Army solider, Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after deserting his post in Afghanistan. The secret exchange violated the law and written White House rules. The nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), determined that the president broke a “clear and unambiguous” law when he traded the high-level terrorists for Bergdahl, who went AWOL in Afghanistan in 2009.
According to rules issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the violation is serious and can carry severe consequences. They include fines, imprisonment, administrative discipline, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office, the rules specifically state.
Bergdahl left his post and was held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan from June 2009 until May 2014. The circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance and subsequent capture have become the subject intense controversy. He was released on May 31, 2014 in exchange for the five terrorists, Mullah Muhammad Fazel Mazlum, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa and Maulavi Muhammad Nabi Omari.
All of them held high-ranking positions with the Taliban before going to Gitmo. Fazel Mazlum was the deputy defense minister from 1996 to 2001. Noorullah Noori was governor of the Balkh province, Abdul Haq Wasiq was deputy intelligence chief, Khairullah Khairkhwa was interior minister and Nabi Omari worked in the military in late 1990s.
“The five terrorists released were the hardest of the hard-core,” a veteran U.S. Senator wrote in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee after Obama freed them. “They held positions of great importance within the hard-core anti-American Taliban, including the Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. They have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight. In effect, we released the “Taliban Dream Team.”
The United States is less safe because of these actions.” Judicial Watch investigated the controversial Bergdahl trade and sued the Department of Defense (DOD) for records involving then Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s determination that the terrorists were “no longer a threat to U.S. national security.” Judicial Watch also litigated to obtain the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Qatar relating to the terrorist release.
Prior to this Obama terrorist swap the Pentagon and various intelligence agencies had documented that many Gitmo captives rejoin terrorist missions after leaving the military compound. In a report to Congress several years ago, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) revealed that of 598 detainees released up to that point, 150 were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.”
In fact, a one-time Gitmo captive became an Al Qaeda chief who masterminded a U.S. Embassy bombing after getting released, according to a mainstream newspaper. His name is Said Ali al-Shihri and after leaving Gitmo he became an Al Qaeda deputy chief in Yemen and he organized a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital. The former captive was also involved in car bombings outside the American Embassy that killed 16 people. That was about five years ago and the recidivism among former Gitmo captives is still in full force today.