Guantanamo ex-inmates emerge as key players in Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan 

WION Web Team
Kabul  Published: Aug 17, 2021, 02:46 PM(IST)

An image grab taken from Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television on August 16, 2021, shows Members of Taliban taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul after Afghanistan's president flew out of the country. (AFP Photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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In the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan against the government forces, it seems former inmates of Guantanamo have played a crucial role. One of the Taliban leaders, who gave a victory speech from the presidential palace, described himself as a former inmate of Guantanamo, while another detainee in the infamous prison is also emerging as a key figure in the regime change

In the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan against the government forces, it seems former inmates of Guantanamo have played a crucial role.   

One of the Taliban leaders, who gave a victory speech from the presidential palace, described himself as a former inmate of Guantanamo, while another detainee in the infamous prison is also emerging as a key figure in the regime change. 

The first inmate, who is presently a commander of the Taliban, gave the address live-streamed by Al-Jazeera news channel from inside the presidential palace in Kabul. He said he had spent eight years in the US Navy-controlled detention centre in Guantanamo Bay. 

According to experts, the name of the commander is Gholam Ruhani, who was accused by the US of being a security agent for the Taliban's Ministry of Intelligence with close family ties to the senior members of the group, a Daily Mail report said. 

As per his Guantanamo file, he was born in 1975 and grew up in Ghazni, before being sent to Iran by his parents to avoid the Afghan-Soviet war. 

He returned home in 1992 and after Taliban took over, joined the Ministry of Intelligence to avoid being drafted for combat operations. He was a part of a security detail patrolling the streets of Kabul, as per US officials. 

The other inmate is Khairullah Khairkhwa. The Taliban member was released from Gitmo by Obama administration even though the Pentagon classified him as too dangerous to release, a New York Post report said. 

Mullah Khairkhwa had previously served as the Taliban’s minister of interior in Afghanistan, where he oversaw enforcement of brutal Islamist punishments.  

After 9/11, he was held in Pakistan and sent to Gitmo in 2002. The Pentagon had accused him of closely associating with Osama bin Laden and his henchmen. 

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