Four ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates Obama freed in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are named as top commanders in Afghanistan's new Taliban government

 Four top members of the Taliban's new interim government are former Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were freed by the Obama administration in a prisoner exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl.

The four new officials were members of the hardline 'Guantanamo Five' who were traded to free Bergdahl from the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in 2014. 

The Taliban on Tuesday announced the appointment of Acting Director of Intelligence Abdul Haq Wasiq, Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Norullah Noori, Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Fazl, and Acting Minister of Information and Culture Khairullah Khairkhah.

The four men, who also took part in direct negotiations with the US at the Doha summit last year, spent about 13 years in the military prison camp before they were freed in a trade for the admitted deserter, who was captured by insurgents after wandering off his post. 

Abdul Haq Wasiq was named on Tuesday as Afghanistan's new director of intelligence
Mullah Noorullah Noori was named minister of borders and tribal affairs

Four of the so-called Guantanamo Five were named to the Taliban government on Tuesday. They included Abdul Haq Wasiq (left) as director of intelligence and Mullah Noorullah Noori as minister of borders and tribal affairs. They were held at Guantanamo Bay for 12 years before being released in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl

Mullah Mohammad Fazl returns to the role he held before 9/11, becoming deputy defense minister
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah is the new information and culture minister

Mullah Mohammad Fazl (l) returns to the role he held before 9/11, becoming deputy defense minister while Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah will be information and culture minister in the new Taliban administration

Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl was freed from the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in 2014 in a prisoner swap for five Taliban leaders imprisoned at Guantanamo, who are now key officials

Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl was freed from the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in 2014 in a prisoner swap for five Taliban leaders imprisoned at Guantanamo, who are now key officials

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as his parents, Jani Bergdahl (L) and Bob Bergdahl (R) listen May 31, 2014 in the Rose Garden

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as his parents, Jani Bergdahl (L) and Bob Bergdahl (R) listen May 31, 2014 in the Rose Garden

Republican Rep. Mike Waltz, a former Green Beret who served in Afghanistan, expressed his disgust that key positions will now be held by the former Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

'I have déjà vu knowing it’s the same national security team in place now that then "exchanged" such high-value terrorists for traitor Bowe Bergdahl,' he told DailyMail.com. 

'I personally led searches for Bergdahl and soldiers in other units lost their lives in search of him. 

'Seeing these former Guantanamo prisoners now in charge of a terrorist state that will once again threaten the homeland is a slap in the face to every veteran, gold star family, and victims of 9/11. 

'Despite this, the Biden Administration has still yet to learn appeasement has serious national security consequences and we are more unsafe now as a result of this disastrous withdrawal.'  

One of the most feared figures of the four is Mullah Mohammad Fazl. He returns to the role he held in the pre-9/11 government as deputy defense minister.

He is alleged to be responsible for killing thousands of Afghanistan’s minority Shia. 

He, along with the other four, were released as part of a deal for Bergdahl. The fifth member of the Guantanamo Five, Mohammad Nabi Omari, was appointed governor of eastern Khost Province last month.

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, will be information and culture minister

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, will be information and culture minister

Mohammad Nabi Omari (L) and Khairullah Khairkhwa (R), members of the Taliban who were former prisoners held by the US at Guantanamo Bay, were released in 2014 and became negotiators for the Islamist group based in Doha, Qatar

Mohammad Nabi Omari (L) and Khairullah Khairkhwa (R), members of the Taliban who were former prisoners held by the US at Guantanamo Bay, were released in 2014 and became negotiators for the Islamist group based in Doha, Qatar


Abdul Haq Wasiq, head of the National Directorate of Security, was also freed as part of the Bergdahl deal. 

He was previously the deputy minister of intelligence for the Taliban. He also took part in political negotiations with the US in Doha. 

Another of the Guantanamo Five, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, will be information and culture minister. 

Mullah Noorullah Noori, who served as governor of several provinces under the previous Taliban government, will be minister of borders and tribal affairs#.

Human rights groups have also accused him of committing atrocities against Shia and, like Fazl, his troops surrendered to U.S. forces in 2001 only to launch a prison revolt that sparked one of the biggest battles of the early war and claimed the first American life. 

Women were also absent from the new government announced in Kabul. 

On Tuesday, the White House press secretary said President Joe Biden was in no hurry to recognize the new Taliban government of Afghanistan.

The appointments - including Sirajuddin Haqqani, who carries a $10 million State Department bounty on his head, as interior minister - will dash hopes that the Taliban's slick media campaign would translate into a more moderate movement. 

Afghanistan's new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head and is wanted for an attack on a Kabul that killed six people, including an American

Afghanistan's new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head and is wanted for an attack on a Kabul that killed six people, including an American

Critics said reports that the Taliban in 2021 was different to the brutal, medieval movement that was ousted in 2001 had been shown to be wishful thinking

Critics said reports that the Taliban in 2021 was different to the brutal, medieval movement that was ousted in 2001 had been shown to be wishful thinking

Biden's spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters: 'There is no rush to recognition. 

'It is really going to be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes. 

'The world will be watching - the United States included - and they will be watching whether they allow for American citizens and citizens of other countries to depart, whether they allow individuals who want to leave the country to leave, whether they allow for humanitarian assistance to travel, how they treat women and girls around the country.'

U.S. officials were forced to work with the Taliban during a chaotic evacuation mission.

Now governments, the United Nations and aid agencies must grapple with how to deliver emergency help to a country facing a humanitarian disaster while avoiding giving legitimacy to a government that looks much like the one ousted in 2001. 

Diplomats have repeatedly urged the Taliban to respect the human rights of Afghans but the new administration in Kabul, unveiled three weeks after the Taliban swept to military victory as U.S.-led foreign forces withdrew, offered no sign of a more moderate face. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters traveling on Air Force One that, 'There is no rush to recognition,' when it comes to the new Taliban administration

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters traveling on Air Force One that, 'There is no rush to recognition,' when it comes to the new Taliban administration


Bill Roggio, editor of the Long War Journal, said hopes that the Taliban would offer a new face to the world were nothing more than wishful thinking.

'Now that the Taliban announced its government and it is clear the prevailing "wisdom" that it would be inclusive is dead, when will other canards, like it is "pragmatic", "can't govern", "wants legitimacy and will moderate" or "it isn't in its interests to work with Al Qaeda" die?' he asked.

'When will Washington and the press stop listening to and repeating the arguments of the failed analysts and architects of failure, with their canned, wrong-headed, politically expedient talking points?' 

Afghanistan's new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is leader of the feared Haqqani network, believed responsible for some of the most deadly attacks in Kabul and behind a spate of kidnappings of foreigners.

He is on the FBI's 'most wanted' list and carries a $10 million bounty on his head. 

Chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid held a press conference on Tuesday evening to announce UN-sanctioned Mohammad Hassan Akhund as the new leader

Chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid held a press conference on Tuesday evening to announce UN-sanctioned Mohammad Hassan Akhund as the new leader

His father was close to Osama bin Laden, who is thought to have named his terrorist network after Jalaluddin Haqqani's headquarters or 'base' - 'Al Qaeda' in Arabic.

Sirajuddin, 48, has been the frequent target of U.S. drone strikes and is currently deputy leader of the Taliban.

According to the FBI’s website, he is wanted in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, which resulted in the death of six people, including an American citizen. 

Other figures were part of the regime that allowed Al Qaeda to build bases where they plotted the 9/11 attacks. 

The Taliban's prime minister, Mullah Hasan Akhund, was foreign minister and deputy prime minister when the Taliban held power from 1996 to 2001.   

He derives much of his power from his links to the movements reclusive, late founder Mullah Omar, and is on a UN sanctions blacklist.

Four ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates Obama freed in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are named as top commanders in Afghanistan's new Taliban government Four ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates Obama freed in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are named as top commanders in Afghanistan's new Taliban government Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:46 Rating: 5

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