A Taliban freed by Obama from Guantanamo is now a key figure in Afghanistan’s regime change

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A former leader of the Taliban movement who in 2014 was released from the Guantanamo detention center by then-US President Barack Obama, would have emerged as one of the key figures in the regime change that occurred in recent days in Afghanistan. , reported this week The New York Post.

This is Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served as Interior Minister during the first government of the insurgents, overseeing beheadings and stoning, before being arrested and transferred in 2002 to Guantánamo in connection with the 9/11 attacks. The Pentagon considered him to be one of those who were part of the inner circle of the terrorist Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and was against his possible release.

However, in 2014 Obama made the decision to release Khairkwa and four other members of the radical movement to exchange them for former US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahi, who was captured by insurgents after deserting his post.

For their part, the five released went to Qatar, being the only Guantánamo inmates to be exonerated without obtaining authorization for parole from the prison board.

Jihadist negotiator in Moscow

The figure of Khairkhwa was back in the public eye in March, when he participated as an official representative of the fundamentalist movement in the negotiations on the conditions for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, which were held in Moscow and were attended by Zalmay Khalilzad, envoy of President Joe Biden on the affairs of the Central Asian country.

“I started the jihad to expel foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and the jihad will continue until we achieve that goal through a political agreement, “Khairkhwa said at the time.

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Now, after the capture of the Afghan capital by the Taliban, some of its leaders have already moved there. At the moment, it is unknown if Khairkhwa is among them.

* The Taliban movement, designated as a “terrorist organization” by the UN Security Council, is declared a terrorist group and prohibited in Russia.

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