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Freed Taliban leaders under enhanced monitoring: White House

Freed Taliban leaders under enhanced monitoring: White House

Jan 31, 2015 - 11:34

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Amidst reports that one of the five Talibaninfo-icon prisoners released last year from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre trying to establish contact with the militants, the White House on Friday said their monitoring in Qatar had been increased.

“None of these individuals (five Taliban) has returned to the battlefield; none of them is allowed to travel outside of Qatar and none has engaged in physical violence," the White House Press Secretary told his daily news conference

In fact, Josh Earnest said, each of them at was still in Qatar, where they were subject to monitoring and other mitigation measures limiting their activities. He added the US had been in touch with the Qataris about the mitigation efforts.

"I can tell you those mitigation and monitoring efforts have been updated to reflect those concerns,” he said, when asked about news reports that one of the released Taliban prisoner was trying to re-establish contact with the group.

The Qataris were cooperating with having conversations with the US national security team on the issue, he acknowledged. "We continue to have confidence that there are measures to place to substantially mitigate the threat that they pose to American national security.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon also exuded confidence the Taliban leaders would not be successful in their efforts. “We remain confident, as we were when we sent them there, that the assurances we received are sufficient enough to help us mitigate any future threat that these individuals might pose,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

Responding to questions, Earnest said the US had no regret on the release of the five prisoners last year in return for the freedom of Sgt Bowe Bergdahl. “Of course not,” he said, when asked if the Obama administration had any regrets on swapping the Taliban.


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