Prisoner Swap – U.S. Government Steps In!
(TheRedWire.com) – From 2001 to 2009, the US held a policy it would not make concessions to a terrorist group holding government officials or private citizens hostage. Still, the State Department said it would use appropriate resources to gain the safe return of citizens. In 2014, President Barack Obama authorized the release of five Taliban detainees in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Now, President Joe Biden is releasing a convicted Afghan drug lord in exchange for Navy veteran Mark Frerichs.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) September 19, 2022
In 2020, the Taliban captured Frerichs in Kabul. After he spent 2 1/2 years in detention, Biden approved a prisoner swap. The US got Frerich, and the Taliban got Afghan drug lord Bashir Noorzai. The courts convicted the Afghan criminal of running a significant heroin smuggling operation in New York City in 2008. On Sunday, September 18, the Taliban announced the prisoner swap agreement as Noorzai appeared at a press conference in Kabul.
Frerichs, 60, arrived in Dohar, Qatar, around 5:30 am ET. Officials said he was in good health. For the last several years, the terrorist Afghan government leaders made Noorzai a condition of a swap for the Navy veteran. Regardless of the exchange, US officials say they are working hard to punish and deter those who manufacture and distribute illegal drugs in the United States.
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