Secretary of state John Kerry has indicated that five Guantánamo Bay detainees released in exchange for an American soldier could be killed by drone strike if they return to the battlefield in Afghanistan.
Kerry’s implied threat to the five Taliban fighters came as Republicans ramped-up their criticism of the deal to release Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner of the Taliban for five years until he was freed last week.
The 28-year-old soldier has reportedly told medical staff at a base in Germany he was tortured and beaten by his captors, and once locked in a metal cage in total darkness as punishment for an attempted escape.
On Sunday, it emerged that the FBI is investigating death threats against Bergdahl’s parents, who have not reacted publicly to the intense political debate raging over the wisdom of trading five Guantánamo detainees for their son.
Republicans highlight the possibility that the Taliban fighters, some of whom were senior commanders, are likely to return to the Afghan conflict after the year they are compelled to stay in Qatar, which brokered the prisoner swap and has promised to monitor the five men. . .