Released Taliban commander promises to return to fight Americans
The former detainee, Noorullah Noori, is one of five suspected Taliban higher-ups freed by US President Barack Obama last week in exchange for the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a 28-year-old American soldier who as captured by an Al-Qaeda linked group in 2009 while serving the US Army in Afghanistan.
A fellow militant and relative told NBC News that despite serving nearly 13 years at the infamous US military prison after he was captured shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Noori reportedly wants to once again fight against the American military.
Noori and four others were released last week in a prisoner swap for Bergdahl, and are reportedly now in Qatar. According to once-secret detainee assessment files authored by Pentagon officials and published by WikiLeaks in 2010, Noori was considered to be a high-risk Gitmo inmate of high intelligence value who ahead of his Dec. 2001 capture was the Taliban governor for the Balkh and Laghman provinces in Afghanistan and “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes.” As the Los Angeles Times reported this week, however, Noori’s name is absent from several war crimes reports conducted by the UN and other agencies.
Nevertheless, a Taliban commander told NBC that Noori “kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there” after he arrived in Qatar this week.
"We thought we may not see them again as once you land in the hands of Americans, it's difficult to come out alive,” the source added, according to an article published on Friday by NBC. “But it was a miracle that Allah Almighty gave us Bergdahl and we got back our heroes.”
RT has reported throughout the week that the prisoner swap between the US and Taliban has infuriated portions of both the American public and political realm who disapprove of President Barack Obama’s decision to release five Gitmo detainees in exchange for a soldier who, according to other servicemen, deserted the Army while on assignment. A welcome home celebration scheduled in Bergdahl’s hometown upon news of his release has since been cancelled by local officials who say the small Idaho town isn’t equipped to handle the expected turnout of both supporters and protesters.
According to NBC’s source, all five former Gitmo detainees were being treated at a Qatari hospital as of Friday. Noori, who is believed to be in his late-40s, was having health issues as a result of the 12 years of incarceration, the source added.
The White House-brokered deal relinquished Noori, Mohammad Fazl, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Abdul Haq Wasiq in exchange for Bergdahl.