Brit MP asks Afghanistan to explain release of Taliban commander

March 13th, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Mar.13 (ANI): The release of a former Guantanamo Bay Taliban detainee has not gone down well with a parliamentarian in Britain, who is now demanding an explanation from Kabul on the matter, as the said terrorist is being seen as the mastermind behind attacks on British troops in southern Helmand Province.
Patrick Mercer, Conservative chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism subcommittee, said it was extraordinary that a man of Rasouls record could be freed to go back to his old ways.
Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, who operates under the nom de guerre Mullah Abdullah Zakir, has been in charge of Taleban attacks in the province since early last year when he was released from prison in Kabul.
He had been transferred there from Guantanamo in December 2007 after a US review board deemed him no longer a threat. Taleban sources have since told The Times that he was a senior commander at the time of his capture in 2001 and that the Afghan authorities should have known that. Mercer said: The Americans presumably let him go from Guantanamo Bay in order for him to be kept in custody in Afghanistan. We need to know why the Afghan authorities released him.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: We talk to the Afghan authorities about security matters but we cant give any details because its quite sensitive.
Peter Ryan, an American lawyer who represented a former Guantanamo detainee, said that the review system was chaotic and opaque, with tribal loyalties appearing to count for more than innocence or guilt.
What Karzai did agree to, security sources said, was a promise that any detainees released must be under surveillance and that all efforts, including the denial or confiscation of passports, must be made to stop them leaving the country.
Rasoul, an Afghan citizen, is thought to live in Quetta, Pakistan, travelling back to coordinate attacks on British troops in Helmand. (ANI)

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