The government of Qatar agreed to temporarily extend a travel ban for the five Taliban leaders President Obama exchanged for deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a controversial prisoner swap last year.
The “Taliban Five” have been prohibited from leaving Qatar ever since Obama released them from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay last year, but the travel restrictions were set to expire Monday until a last minute deal extended the deadline for six months.
A State Department official told Fox News the ban would stay in place until a longer-term deal is reached. The official said Qatar “has agreed to maintain the current restrictive conditions on these individuals as we continue these discussions.”
There is no question what the terrorists intend to do when they are eventually turned loose – rejoin the jihad. At least three of the five have already attempted to “re-engage” with their old terror networks, and at least one met with an al Qaeda-affiliated militant group in Qatar earlier this year.
Obama’s decision to release the Taliban leaders was fiercely criticized after it was reported that Berghdahl – who National Security Adviser Susan Rice said “served with honor and distinction” — had abandoned his unit on purpose.
Bergdahl was charged with desertion in March.
The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry and Sen. John McCain respectively, said last month they would expand their investigations of the administration’s handling of the swap.