Filed Under: International

Taliban member released in US prisoner swap. Russia ready to make Griner deal.

By ,

While America continues its negotiations with Russia on a high-profile prisoner swap, U.S. officials worked out a separate prisoner swap over the weekend. The U.S. released Bashir Noorzai, a member of the Taliban, in exchange for Mark Frerichs, a veteran held in Afghanistan.

The senior Taliban member was a notorious drug lord. He was interviewed by media in Kabul where he said he was detained in Guantanamo Bay for more than 17 years, and he was the last Taliban prisoner there. Noorzai is a notorious drug lord. He is among America’s most wanted drug traffickers. He had agreed to come to New York City in 2005 for a debriefing after being promised by his handlers that he would not be arrested but was ultimately jailed 10 days after his arrival.

The Taliban-appointed foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, welcomed the prisoner swap, saying it marked the start of a “new era” in U.S.-Taliban relations. Muttaqi said all problems can be solved through talks and thanked both sides for their negotiations. The Taliban had been demanding Noorzai’s release since they took control of Afghanistan’s government after America’s departure.

“This can be a new chapter between Afghanistan and the United States, this can open a new door for talks between both countries,” Muttaqi said

At the other end of the deal was an American kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2020. Frerichs is a U.S. Navy veteran and civilian contractor. Frerichs was last seen in a video distributed earlier this year, pleading for his release so that he can be reunited with his family, according to a recording posted by media outlets. The White House has not commented on the swap made, the information only coming from the Taliban during a press conference in Kabul Monday.

Meanwhile, on Friday, White House officials reiterated its continued talks with Russia to release WNBA star Brittney Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan as President Joe Biden met with the two families.

“He’s confident that that this is going to remain at the forefront of his mind and his team’s mind, and they’re going to continue to work this as hard as they can,” John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson, said. “We want these two individuals home, back where they belong with their families. They should be there already.”

On Monday, Russian officials publicly said they are ready for a prisoner swap deal but say the American embassy is not maintaining dialogue. Both sides have continually blamed one another publicly for the delayed deal. Griner marked seven months since detainment this weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

WHILE AMERICA CONTINUES ITS NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA ON A HIGH PROFILE PRISONER SWAP…
U.S. OFFICIALS WORKED OUT A SEPARATE PRISONER SWAP OVER THE WEEKEND…
RELEASING A MEMBER OF THE TALIBAN IN EXCHANGE FOR A VETERAN HELD IN AFGHANISTAN.
THE SENIOR TALIBAN MEMBER WAS A NOTORIOUS DRUG LORD.
SPENDING MORE THAN 17 YEARS AT GUANTANAMO BAY.
AT THE OTHER END OF THE DEAL WAS AN AMERICAN KIDNAPPED IN AFGHANISTAN IN 20-20.
A NAVY VETERAN AND CIVILIAN CONTRACTOR.
THE WHITE HOUSE HAS NOT COMMENTED ON THE SWAP MADE.
BUT ON FRIDAY…THE WHITE HOUSE REITERATED IT’S CONTINUED TALKS WITH RUSSIA TO RELEASE W-N-B-A STAR BRITTNEY GRINER AND U.S. MARINE PAUL WHELAN– AS PRESIDENT BIDEN MET WITH THE TWO FAMILIES.
[NAME: JOHN KIRBY | NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON]
{“He’s confident that that this is going to remain at the forefront of his mind and his team’s mind, and they’re going to continue to work this as hard as they can. We want these two individuals home, back where they belong with their families. They should be there already.”}
TODAY RUSSIAN OFFICIALS PUBLICLY SAID THEY ARE READY TO REACH A DEAL — BUT SAY THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IS NOT MAINTAINING DIALOGUE.
BOTH SIDES — PUBLICLY BLAMING ONE ANOTHER AS GRINER MARKS SEVEN MONTHS OF DETAINMENT.

While America continues its negotiations with Russia on a high-profile prisoner swap, U.S. officials worked out a separate prisoner swap over the weekend. The U.S. released Bashir Noorzai, a member of the Taliban, in exchange for Mark Frerichs, a veteran held in Afghanistan.

The senior Taliban member was a notorious drug lord. He was interviewed by media in Kabul where he said he was detained in Guantanamo Bay for more than 17 years, and he was the last Taliban prisoner there. Noorzai is a notorious drug lord. He is among America’s most wanted drug traffickers. He had agreed to come to New York City in 2005 for a debriefing after being promised by his handlers that he would not be arrested but was ultimately jailed 10 days after his arrival.

The Taliban-appointed foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, welcomed the prisoner swap, saying it marked the start of a “new era” in U.S.-Taliban relations. Muttaqi said all problems can be solved through talks and thanked both sides for their negotiations. The Taliban had been demanding Noorzai’s release since they took control of Afghanistan’s government after America’s departure.

“This can be a new chapter between Afghanistan and the United States, this can open a new door for talks between both countries,” Muttaqi said

At the other end of the deal was an American kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2020. Frerichs is a U.S. Navy veteran and civilian contractor. Frerichs was last seen in a video distributed earlier this year, pleading for his release so that he can be reunited with his family, according to a recording posted by media outlets. The White House has not commented on the swap made, the information only coming from the Taliban during a press conference in Kabul Monday.

Meanwhile, on Friday, White House officials reiterated its continued talks with Russia to release WNBA star Brittney Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan as President Joe Biden met with the two families.

“He’s confident that that this is going to remain at the forefront of his mind and his team’s mind, and they’re going to continue to work this as hard as they can,” John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson, said. “We want these two individuals home, back where they belong with their families. They should be there already.”

On Monday, Russian officials publicly said they are ready for a prisoner swap deal but say the American embassy is not maintaining dialogue. Both sides have continually blamed one another publicly for the delayed deal. Griner marked seven months since detainment this weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Get ready to rate in…

Community Rating

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

lock

Watch the report to unlock rating

Rate the bias

Keep us honest! Let us know if you thought this video was neutral or biased.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Recent Reports