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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Monday, January 17, 2022

Taliban Pressing for Prisoner Swap With U.S. | Foreign Policy

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The Taliban is offering the release of an American engineer, who has been held in Afghanistan for two years, in exchange for the release of an Afghan drug lord who has been serving a life sentence in America. The Taliban has also threatened to block the resettlement of the tens of thousands of Afghans with US citizenship who remain in Afghanistan if the exchange is not made.

Bashir Noorzai was arrested in 2005 in New York on heroin trafficking charges and it was revealed the proceeds were wired to Afghanistan to help fund the Taliban insurgency. Mark Frerichs, the engineer, is a US Navy veteran who was kidnapped in January 2020 while working on development projects in Afghanistan. He is believed to be alive.

The issue has divided the State and Justice departments, with Justice officials worried that the exchange would set a dangerous precedent.

Source: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/06/taliban-wants-prisoner-swap-united-states-frerichs

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