An undated photo of Mark Frerichs, the U.S. veteran who was captured by the Taliban and was recently freed in a prisoner swap.
Charlene Cakora, Associated Press
The Biden administration has negotiated the release of an American man held hostage by the Taliban.
Who is Mark Frerichs?
Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran, was living in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor when he was abducted in January 2020, according to The Associated Press.
Frerichs was released in exchange for an Afghan tribal leader, Bashir Noorzai, who was imprisoned by the U.S. for drug smuggling. The tribal leader had ties to the Taliban and had been held by the U.S since 2005, according to Reuters.
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“Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on the deal, according to CBS News.
“Our priority now is to make sure Mark receives a healthy and safe return and is given the space and time he needs to transition back into society,” Biden said.
While there have been no allegations that Noorzai killed Americans, federal prosecutors did find that his drug smuggling network has caused a lot of damage. Noorzai has large power over a major part of the world’s heroin trade, according to NBC News.
This negotiation is one of the major prisoner swaps in the Biden administration to date. AP reported that this …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News