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Can Qatar be Trusted with the Imprisonment of the Taliban Five?

Updated on August 11, 2014

The Swap

Over the past couple of months since Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in a ill-thought ploy(by the sitting President of a country where freedom is questioned) to trade five highly trained terrorists(TalFi) and enemies of the State from GITMO, I have looked further at Qatar. Qatar is the country where the TalFi have been released to. Qatar government officials have promised our government the TalFi will remain there for a period of time until transitioning back into the terrorism careers in which four of the five have declared a personal goal upon release.
The question is, "Can Qatar be trusted with the imprisonment of the TalFi?"

Variables and Other Questions

I leave the reading audience to be the judge...

First, we must answer--who are the TalFi? Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammad Nabi Omari are the names of the terrorists but the question is still unanswered. Where did they come from? Where is their allegiance? What were their crimes and how did they end up at GITMO?

Mullah Mohammad Fazl

Mullah Mohammad Fazl is an Afghan native from the Caher Cineh District of Uruzgan Province. He was born in 1967 and reports from the CIA show proof of his allegiance to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He once served a their deputy defense minister. This is evidence of military connections to the Islamic community. He was apprehended after he negotiated an amnesty agreement with Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance.

Mullah Norulla Noori

Mullah Norullah Noori is also a native of Afghanistan, born in 1967 as well. His allegiance is related to the Taliban and was detained at GITMO for his crimes as the Governor of Taliban community of Balkh Province.

Abdul Haq Wasiq

Born in 1971, Wasiq is from Ghazni, Afghanistan. Abdul Haq Wasiq served as Deputy Minister of Intelligence in the Taliban Intelligence Service before his apprehension in 2002. While in custody, he wrote a letter to his brother indicating his loyalty to Al Qaeda. In January 2002, Omari sent Wasiq to Kandahar where US officials captured him in route.

Khairulla Khairkhwa

Khairulla Khairkhwa was born in 1967 and claims citizenship in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Khirullah was an original Taliban member since its inception in 1994. In 1997 and 1998, Khairkhwah was the Minister of the Interior in the Taliban regime. He served as Taliban's Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesman before being captured in 2002.

Mohammed Nabi Omari

Mohammed Nabi Omari was born in 1968 in Metakhan village, Afghanistan. After his detainment in October 2002, he declared his allegiance to the Taliban since pre-9/11/01. He was caught attempting to board a plane in Old Khowst, Afghanistan by US forces. He alleges being a traitor to the Islamic cause while in US custody.

Now that we know some history of the TalFi, Where Qatar? What are the political views of the government and what are their motives for brokering this deal?

Qatar is a sovereign Arab country. It's in the Northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula of Western Asia. It borders Saudi Arabia's northern region. The other part of the country is surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Since 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has been the Emir. The United States has their largest military base of the Middle East in Qatar. Qatar is known the be the wealthiest country in the world per capita (meaning the income per population is the greatest in the world). Their laws are governed by civil law and Islamic Law.

Why would the Qatar government want to broker the exchange of the TalFi for Bergdahl?

Qatar has been unofficially known as "Arab Switzerland". The country has dealings with the United States, the United Kingdom and the Taliban(as well as other Islamic groups). This neutrality has made it possible for Qatar to organize or broker an exchange of prisoners between the two(US and the Taliban). According to the Associated Press in a FOX News article, "Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah described his country's role in the lengthy negotiations as a humanitarian gesture when asked about it". This would be a possible motive. But I'm young, not naive. One reason is because Qatar has not been a favorite ally of the US government. Another is the unfair and illegal trade.

How informed on the issue are you?

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Can Qatar be trusted with the imprisonment of the Taliban Five?

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© 2014 E Matt Howerton

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