At least three of the Taliban 5 terror commanders who were traded for Bowe Bergdahl made attempts to make contact with their former terrorist networks, reports Fox News.
The new allegations come as Bergdahl now faces desertion charges, and as the one-year deal governing the former Guantanamo detainees’ supervised release in the Gulf nation of Qatar is set to expire — at the end of May.
The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently told Congress that, after that expiration, all his officers can do is warn the U.S. government if the men return to the battlefield.
“I’ve seen nothing that causes me to believe these folks are reformed or [have] changed their ways or intend to re-integrate to society in ways to give me any confidence that they will not return in trying to do harm to America,” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a member of the House intelligence committee, told Fox News.
The official who described the attempts by three to make contact did not identify the men by name. But the evidence came to light through intelligence from liaison services and monitored communications available to the U.S. government.
A defense official did not dispute the claim, emphasizing that one of the men has come “very close, trying to provide advice, council or inspiration” to his terror network, while the other two had not crossed that line.
In January, CNN was first to report, and U.S. officials later confirmed, that one of the five fighters was making phone calls to militants. The latest claim indicates those efforts were more widespread.
A State Department official, though, disagreed with the characterization of the intelligence and how it relates to the “Taliban Five’s” activities.
“None of the five individuals has returned to the battlefield and none of the five have left Qatar,” the official said. “Since their transfer many actions have been taken to restrict the actions of these individuals, and they are all being closely monitored by the United States and Qatar.
“We are in frequent and high level contact with Qatari government about the implementation of these measures, to ensure our concerns about these individuals are being met. For example, by enabling us to closely track their activities.”
The State Department is putting political spin on the revelation, as is the office of the DNI:
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also uses a strict definition for re-engagement, saying they do not “consider mere communication with individuals or organizations — including other former GTMO detainees — an indicator of reengagement. Rather, the motives, intentions, and purposes of each communication are taken into account when assessing whether the individual has reengaged.”
It’s all doubletalk. They raise the bar high enough that they don’t have to do anything unless the terrorists actually carry out an attack.
This was a bad deal from the start and we still don’t have all the facts surrounding it. Was there a ransom paid? Were reports of a possible rescue operation called off true? What were the other options to get Bergdahl out facing the administration?
While Bergdahl’s case was being considered, the DoD begged off answering questions before Congress. Now that the fate of the deserter is known, maybe some of those questions will be answered.