Outrage grows for released detainees swapped for Bergdahl - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Outrage grows for released detainees swapped for Bergdahl

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The backlash over the U.S.-Taliban trade for Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl is growing. (Source: Nunn.Asia/CNN) The backlash over the U.S.-Taliban trade for Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl is growing. (Source: Nunn.Asia/CNN)

(NUNN.ASIA/CNN) – There's a growing backlash over the Obama administration's trade of Taliban detainees for captive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

U.S. officials handed over five jailed terrorists in exchange for Bergdahl over the weekend.

In video released by an Afghan news agency, the five detainees were greeted as heroes when they landed in Qatar. For years, they had been considered extremely dangerous by the U.S. government.

"I don't think anyone harbors any illusions about these five guys and what they might do if they're transferred," Directory of National Intelligence James Clapper said.

That stance changed Saturday, when the men were allowed to leave Guantanamo Bay. Among the detainees is Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa. He was previously believed by the U.S. to have ties to Osama bin Laden. He was serving a senior Taliban official when he was captured in 2002.

Mullah Mohammed Fazl allegedly also had tied to al-Qaeda. As the Taliban Army's chief of staff, he was wanted by the United Nations for the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites.

Mullah Norullah Noori was the former governor of two Afghan provinces, but told the U.S. he was not connected to the Taliban. A detainee assessment released by Wikileaks characterized him has high-risk and having high intelligence value.

U.S. intelligence sources once said about Abdul Haq Wasiq, who was second in command in the Taliban's intelligence service with links to al-Qaeda. He claimed he was arrested while trying to help the U.S. locate senior Taliban figures.

Finally, Mohammad Nabi Omari, the Taliban's chief of communications. He reportedly helped al-Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Now, all five men are now out of U.S. custody, but are apparently still being watched by foreign intelligence services.

U.S. officials won't elaborate on what exactly those assurances were and add that they were not negotiating with terrorists because Qatar officials helped secure the exchange.

As part of the deal, there is a one-year ban on travel for these men.

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