The so-called “Taliban Five,” who were exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May of 2014, could be free to re-enter the battlefield as early as Monday.
Bergdahl was charged with desertion in March of this year after disappearing from his post in Afghanistan in 2009.
By the terms of the exchange, the five fighters, who were hand-picked by the Taliban, were to remain in Qatar under government surveillance for one year following their release from Guantanamo Bay.
According to Fox News, at least three of the five have already sought to reconnect with their old terror networks since arriving in Qatar.
Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which oversees the facility, classified all five men as “high risk,” not eligible for release.
Among them is Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as deputy minister of intelligence for the Taliban; Mullah Mohammad Fazi, deputy defense minister for the Taliban; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander; Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, a former provincial governor who reputedly met with Iran to plot attacks against American forces; and Mohammad Nabi Omari, who has held multiple leadership roles in various terrorist groups.
Many lawmakers believe if these men are allowed to leave Qatar, they will very likely return to the battlefield.
“It’s impossible for me to see how they don’t rejoin the fight in short order,” said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“In Congress, we spent a lot of time debating whether the Qataris were going to adequately keep an eye on them in the course of the 12 months,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “My point all along was that I’m more worried about month No. 13 than the first 12.”
At the time of their release, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Armed Services Committee, said all the men “have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight.”
The Obama administration, which celebrated Bergdahl’s release with a Rose Garden ceremony, is reportedly in talks with Qatar to try to extend the Taliban Five’s travel ban; but as the deadline approaches, no agreement has been announced.
Joe Kasper, spokesman for House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said his office has gotten “radio silence” from the administration when they ask about the issue.
“They have to be concerned with what happens to the five Taliban because they made every effort to portray the trade as a good deal,” Kasper wrote in an email to Fox News. “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.”
At the time of the Taliban Five’s release, several lawmakers from both parties complained that the White House did not give a 30-day notice of the swap, which is required by law. The administration said they could not wait because Bergdahl’s life was in danger.
What do you think about the Bergdahl exchange? Did the Obama administration break the law? Share your thoughts below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth