Sen. Graham Calls for Hearing on Taliban Release

Monday, 02 Jun 2014 02:52 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Lindsey Graham sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Monday calling for an "immediate hearing" to review the release of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

Fox News reports that the South Carolina Republican wants an investigation into the exchange of the five for imprisoned American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

He says that the five "have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight," Fox reports. He also pointed out that the former prisoners sent to Qatar in exchange for Afghanistan captive Bergdahl, were the "Taliban Dream Team."

The report also quotes Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain as saying the five released represent "the hardest of the hard-core" and "the highest high-risk people."

McCain was on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday saying the Taliban fighters were likely responsible for many American deaths and have certainly "gone back into the fight."

Fox News says the five men were linked to al-Qaida in varying degrees before they were captured and sent to the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All were deemed high-risk prisoners, and two are even wanted by the United Nations for war crimes in the deaths of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan.

The five profiled by the report are: Abdul Haq Wasiq, who reportedly arranged for al-Qaida personnel to train Taliban intelligence staff; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior Taliban military commander; Mullah Mohammad Fazi, the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister; Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, who has been linked to Osama bin Laden; and Mohammed Nabi Omari, a leader in several terrorist groups.

The New York Daily News reports that the Taliban has already declared "victory" over the release.

"I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation, all the mujahedeen and to the families and relatives of the prisoners for this big victory," they report fugitive Taliban boss Mullah Omar, as saying.


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