What Will Soon Happen To The ‘Taliban 5′ Makes Bergdahl Trade Look Even Worse For Obama

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

Taliban Kills 17 Despite Peace Talks

Image for representational purposes only.

Despite peace talks, Taliban militants attacked police checkpoints late Sunday night in the remote Afghan province of Badakhshan, killing at least 16 policemen. The insurgents said in a statement to media that the assaults were part of their annual spring offensive, which began late last month. According to the Associated Press, a Taliban suicide bomber struck a bus carrying government workers in the capital, Kabul, on Monday morning, killing one person and wounding 13. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that bombing.

The Taliban launched their annual spring offensive on April 24 with an attack on the northern city of Kunduz, amid calls from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the group to join the government. During talks, Afghan officials believe negotiations are heading in the right direction. An Afghan official familiar with both sides in the Qatar discussions said: “It is a good starting point. We will ask them to go ahead prudently and wisely to find a political solution rather than intensify military activity, which is causing the loss of innocent life.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the discussions have not been made public.

Peace talks were hosted by the government of Qatar and the Pugwash Council, a global conflict resolution group, on Sunday and Monday, billed as unofficial and “not supposed to be any sort of negotiation.” The council issued a statement of “common points” that emerged during the talks, the most significant of which was probably the toned-down Taliban position on foreign forces in Afghanistan.

“Everybody agreed that foreign forces have to leave Afghanistan soon,” the Pugwash statement said. But in noting an apparent retreat by the Taliban from its insistence on full withdrawal of outside forces before formal peace talks can begin, the statement observed that “some expressed concern that there should be an agreement among Afghan political forces before the departure of the foreign forces.”

Both sides agreed that the Taliban should open a political office in Doha, Qatar, which would serve as a place where future negotiations might take place–and that the Constitution of Afghanistan was up for discussion.This was the first time in which both parties seemed willing to publicize their points of agreement.

Despite the Taliban’s recent aggression, Afghan officials do not believe it will stall negotiations.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Breaking: The Army Has Made Its Decision About Charging Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion

Bowe Bergdahl uniform

In what could open a huge can of worms for the Obama administration, the Army has charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion, according to multiple news sources.

The Washington Post reports:

“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was recovered in Afghanistan last spring after five years in captivity, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to his lawyer.”

Bergdahl, then a private assigned to a post in Afghanistan, went missing from his base in 2009. His correspondence prior to his disappearance indicated Bergdahl had grown disillusioned with the U.S. military’s mission, and many of his colleagues claimed that Bergdahl had abandoned his post.

He was held captive in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban. Then, in a highly controversial move, President Obama agreed to swap five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo for Bergdahl.

Now, with the decision to charge Bergdahl as a deserter, that Taliban-swap deal approved by Obama is likely to come under even heavier fire.

Army officials have announced they will provide an update in this case at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time at Fort Bragg, N.C.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Lawyer Of Doctor Who Helped Kill Bin Laden Murdered By Taliban


With friends like the Obama administration, who needs enemies? Breitbart reports that the lawyer for Dr. Shakil Afridi, Samiullah Afridi, was recently shot and killed by Taliban terrorists while returning from work in Pershwar, Pakistan.

The attorney had represented the physician who ran a false vaccination program in order to track down Bin Laden. However, he had resigned from the case and left Pakistan for some time before recently returning due to death threats.

The attorney had been highly critical of the Obama administration’s lack of urgency in attempting to get Dr. Afridi released from a Pakistani jail and granted asylum in the United States.

Reuters reports:

Samiullah Afridi was shot dead on Tuesday as he was returning to his home in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said. According to media, he had recently returned there from abroad after leaving Pakistan for his safety.

“He was returning home when armed men opened fire. He died on the spot,” police official Jamal Hussain said. A hospital spokesman added that Samiullah Afridi was shot twice, in the abdomen and the neck.

Two Pakistan militant groups claimed responsibility for the lawyer’s death. Jundullah, a Taliban splinter group, said: “We killed him because he was defending Shakil, who is our enemy.”

It seems that attorney Afridi had warned of the risk to his life and to that of his family when he withdrew from the case.

This killing comes at a time when Pakistan is intensifying its fight against Islamic militants in-country. The government recently lifted a ban on the death penalty and a dozen prisoners on death row were executed at once this week. There are 8,000 people on death row in Pakistan.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Pope Francis Condemns Attacks On Christian Churches In Pakistan

Photo credit: giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

Addressing the public Sunday, Pope Francis condemned terrorist attacks committed by a Taliban-affiliated group on two Christian churches in Pakistan which left 15 killed and 75 injured.

Two suicide bombers attacked the Catholic Church of St. John and the Church of Christ in Lahore during Sunday worship, Zenit reported. Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, an organization affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attacks, noted Al-Jazeera. The group said two bombers committed the act.

“These are Christian churches: Christians are being persecuted,” the pontiff said Sunday to an audience gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Our brothers shed blood only because they are Christians.” He continued:

As I assure you of my prayers for the victims and their families, I ask the Lord, I beseech the Lord, source of all goodness, for the gift of peace and harmony for that country and that this persecution against Christians, which the world tries to hide, might end, and that there may be peace

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw, O.F.M., who leads the Catholic Church in Lahore, closed Catholic schools and offices in honor of the victims. “Their blood was not shed in vain and will bring peace to all citizens of Pakistan,” Shaw said. The Archbishop also called on the authorities to protect all Paktistani Christians.

Episcopal Archbishop Joseph Coutts, president of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, echoed Shaw’s sentiments. “We beg the government in Punjab and the federal government of Pakistan to take adequate measures for the protection of churches and religious minorities in Pakistan,” said Coutts.

The Catholic Church and other religious minorities in Pakistan are asking the government to take effective measures to guarantee freedom of religion in the country.

This is hardly the first attack on Christians in Pakistan. Al Jazeera pointed out that in 2013, suicide bombers killed more than 80 people and injured 140 more near a historic church in the city of Peshawar.

h/t: CNS News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom