Sen. John McCain said Sunday morning that he had serious concerns about the decision to release five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, for fear they are responsible for thousands of deaths.
Five Taliban detainees were released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, who was captured by Afghan insurgents nearly five years ago, the Obama administration announced Saturday.
Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Mr. McCain said that while he celebrated Mr. Bergdahl’s safe return, he’s afraid the five released prisoners could re-enter the fight against the West.
“These are the hardest of the hardcore. These are the highest high-risk people, and others that we have released have gone back into the fight,” the Arizona Republican said, adding he was disturbed the Taliban named the prisoners they wanted freed.
Two of the detainees were senior militant commanders said to be linked to operations that killed American and allied troops as well as implicated in murdering thousands of Shiites in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported.
“We need to know more information about the conditions of where they are going to be,” Mr. McCain said, CBS New reported. “It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to reenter the fight.”
The prisoners were flown from Cuba to Qatar, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban.
The Qatari government has promised the U.S. that the proper measures are in place to ensure security isn’t compromised, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday, CBS said.