Reid: No way to predict threat from freed Taliban

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday there’s no way to know what threat the five freed Taliban commanders will pose to the United States.

The Democratic leader said the Taliban militants who were released from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be watched very closely over the next year.

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“If you look at what has been said, there’s no one [that] can make a decision what’s going to happen in the out years,” he told reporters. “We just know that in the first period of time in Qatar they’re going to be watched very closely and we’ll continue to monitor them.”

But Reid, one of the Senate’s most outspoken defenders of the prisoner swap, said he would not give “some prophetic announcement as to what these five men are going to do later on.”

Democratic and Republican critics of the deal worry the senior Taliban commanders could return to the battlefield after a year.

One of the Taliban leaders, Noorullah Noori, told relatives shortly after arriving in Qatar that he planned to go to Afghanistan to fight U.S. forces, according to NBC News.

Noori is wanted by the United Nations for alleged war crimes, including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said earlier Tuesdayhe worried about the threat the released Taliban militants would pose to U.S. soldiers and civilians. 

“I’m still concerned about the threat of these five having the expertise and high-level rankings to enter the fight again,” he said.

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