WASHINGTON: Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the United States has proven its ability to target Qaeda fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the war on terrorism and that nobody should doubt the capacity of Washington to protect Americans.
If the five Taliban inmates released from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for a captive American soldier rejoined the fight against the United States, they would do so at great risk, Kerry said in an interview with CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ programme. “I’m not telling you they don’t have some ability at some point to go back and get involved. But they also have the ability to get killed doing that.”
Concern that the five former inmates might return to fight has been a factor in controversy in the United States over the deal, under which Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to US troops in Afghanistan on May 31 after nearly five years in captivity and the five Taliban members were flown from Guantanamo to Qatar.
US officials have referred to release of the militants in exchange for Bergdahl as a transfer. They said the men would be subject to certain restrictions in Qatar, which brokered the deal. One official said that would include a minimum one-year ban on travel outside of Qatar as well as monitoring of their activities.
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