According to recent reports, a significantly influential Taliban commander had been released from Guantanamo Bay prison under the presidency of Barack Obama. After being released, the commander masterminded the takeover of Kabul, which has occurred in the past week.
The mastermind, Khairullah Khairkhwa, had been arrested after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and he had been held at the Pentagon from 2002-2014 after it was determined that he had been closely associated with Osama bin Laden and therefore far too dangerous to be released, as reported by the New York Post.
However, Obama released Khairkhwa, along with four other Taliban associates, in October 2014 in exchange for an American deserter, U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Bergdahl, who later faced being court-martialed. After green lighting the release of Khairkhwa, Obama claimed that Khairkhwa and his associates would remain in Qatar and pose no threat to Afghanistan.
In spite of Obama’a assurances, the freed Guantanamo detainees rapidly turned Qatar into a base for forming a new regime in exile.
All five of these individuals have also been recognized by various Western diplomats as the official representatives of the Taliban during “peace talks.” Amazingly, Khairkhwa even sat across from the table from Biden’s envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in Moscow, Russia.
In addition, Khairkhwa also took part in the Taliban delegation that took part in negotiating the final terms of American withdrawal from the nation.
According to Khairkhwa, he “started jihad to remove foreign forces from [his] country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until … that goal [is reached] through a political agreement.”
The Taliban fighters also intend to bring back additional leadership from Qatar after fully securing Kabul.
Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, a Taliban co-founder, was also amongst various prisoners released by the Afghani government after the February 2020 peace deal that had been signed by the Trump administration. The Taliban co-founder returned to Afghanistan for the first time in nearly two decades.
The Taliban also criticized the United States for its oppression of Afghanistan for two decades.
Earlier in the year, Khairkhwa claimed that the Taliban would not launch any kind of military offensive if Biden ultimately removed all the remaining American troops. Khairkhwa also insisted that he would not retaliate against any Afghanis that had provided assistance to the United States.
However, the Taliban is currently persecuting all Afghanis who provided help to Westerners.
In addition, Khairkhwa has also overseen stonings and beheadings when holding the position of the Taliban’s interior minister.
When Obama released Khairkhwa in exchange for Bergdahl, he proclaimed that the deserter was a hero “POW,” in spite of the fact that Bergdahl later pled guilty to misbehavior and desertion.