One of the five Taliban commanders who was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2014 by former president Barack Obama in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, is emerging as a key figure who helped the insurgents seize power in Afghanistan.
Khairullah Khairkhwa, along with the other freed detainees, used Qatar as a base to form a Taliban regime in exile, and eventually became an official negotiator for peace talks with the Biden regime, the New York Post reported.
Khairkhwa previously served as Spokesperson of the Taliban regime, Governor of the Kabul Province of the Taliban regime, and Minister of Internal Affairs of the Taliban regime, according to the United Nations National Security Council.
He joined the Taliban prior to 9/11/2001, and was reportedly “directly associated with Osama Bin Laden and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar.”
Khairkhwa allegedly represented the Taliban during negotiations over military operations with Iranian officials in an effort to rally support against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan following the September 2001 attacks.
He was also involved in narcotics trafficking, which is a huge source of revenue for Taliban operating finances, Counterextremism.com reported.
A 2008 assessment from the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) further suggests that Khairkhwa was a former drug trafficker who had previously been “one of the major opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan.”
Khairkhwa also oversaw the enforcement of brutal Islamist punishments, such as beheadings and stonings,” according to the Post’s Paul Sperry.
Twelve years later, Obama sprang Khairkhwa from jail along with four other top Taliban leaders in exchange for the Taliban releasing US Army Sgt. Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl, who was captured after deserting his post in Afghanistan oversaw enforcement of brutal Islamist punishments, including beheadings and stonings.
Upon his return, Obama celebrated Bergdahl as a heroic “POW,” a designation the Pentagon never gave him. At the bizarre Rose Garden ceremony, during which Bergdahl’s father praised Allah, Obama asserted: “We’re committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan and closing Gitmo.”
But public opinion rapidly turned against Bergdahl as the facts of his disappearance and capture became known. He ultimately was court-martialed and pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. In 2017, he was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge. Last year, the US military’s top appeals court upheld the conviction against him.
Several of his fellow soldiers were seriously injured during search-and-rescue missions launched to find him in Afghanistan. During Bergdahl’s five-year Taliban captivity, the Taliban became more accurate and deadly targeting US convoys and troops.
Obama released Khairkhwa along with the four other hardened terrorists, even though the Pentagon had classified them as too dangerous to release. The Obama administration assured critics that the “Taliban Five” would be kept in Qatar so that they would not be involved in politics in Afghanistan.
Khairkhwa is now recognized by Western diplomats as an official representative of the Taliban, according Sperry. He reportedly met with Biden’s envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in Moscow earlier this year as part of the official Taliban delegation that negotiated the final terms of the US withdrawal. According to the Post, “Special Envoy” Khairkhwa promised the Biden administration earlier this year that the Taliban would not launch a military offensive if Biden committed to removing all remaining American troops. Khairkhwa made it clear however he and his fellow Islamists sought to re-establish strict Islamic rule without outside meddling.
“I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement,” he said at the summit.
Khairkhwa also reportedly promised not to retaliate against any Afghans who worked with the US military or the US-backed government in Kabul.
The doctrine of taqiyya, it should be noted, actually permits Muslims to lie to non-Muslims to gain the upper hand over an enemy.
Reports coming out of the region indicate that retaliation has already started against Afghans who cooperated with the United States.
Taliban started door to door search looking for govt officials, former police & security forces members & those who worked for foreign countries NGOs or infrastructures in Afghanistan.
At least 3 journalists' houses were searched in the last hour.
Kabul is now becoming deadly..
— Mustafa 47 (@CombatJourno) August 16, 2021
Taliban militants are reportedly using a “kill list” to go after their enemies.
And there have been reports throughout their advance of women being shot dead and girls as young as 12 being dragged from their homes to be “married”.
It appears however their first mission is tick off victims who have made their way onto their “kill list” as they hunt down anyone who may have helped forces of the US, UK and other nations during the occupation.
And they are reportedly going door-to-door in Kabul as they hunt for soldiers, police, government officials and journalists.
Afghanistan’s descent into chaos has seen unverified reports emerge of thousands gathering to witness an execution in Kandahar at a sports stadium.
And there are claims a woman has been sentenced to be stoned to death in Samangan.
On Tuesday, an Australian nonprofit tweeted that one of the interpreters it works with was executed in Kandahar.
Another #interpreter who worked for the US/UK over a decade ago has been killed today in Kandahar. I won’t share his name or the more horrific pic of his mutilated body! #auspol why are veterans shouldering, yet again, Govts responsibility! #LeaveNoOneBehind pic.twitter.com/QNzCXCjCxp
— forsakenfighters (@FFsA_MEP) August 16, 2021
Forsaken Fighters said the man, a father-of-four, had been found “mutilated” by the Taliban because he had worked for both the US and UK around ten years ago.
Matt Zeller, a US veteran of the Afghan war, told told Al Jazeera that about 44,000 Afghans need to be rescued.
Zeller, who co-founded No One Left Behind, a charity that helps Afghans settle in the US, told Al Jazeera the reports outside of Kabul are “horrific”.
“There are public executions in Kandahar in the stadium,” he said.
“Women have been told they cannot leave their homes in Herat and the Taliban are going door to door in Mazar-i-Sharif looking for anyone who worked with the US military.”
During an appearance on MSNBC, Zeller blasted Joe Biden, and the media following Biden’s remarks on Tuesday.
MSNBC host Brian Williams had called it a “consequential speech” and that Biden had “owned” the situation.
“I feel like I watched a different speech than the rest of you guys. I was appalled!” he exclaimed.
U.S. Army veteran Matt Zeller goes off on MSNBC about Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan:
Zeller: “I feel like I watched a different speech than the rest of you guys. I was appalled.” pic.twitter.com/eGC5tMBvy4
— Whitney Robertson (@whitneyleerob) August 16, 2021