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The Taliban are in a hurry to strike a deal with Washington to release a drug “whale”.

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It appears that the heart of the Taliban movement, which took over Afghanistan in mid-August, is a drug whale that languishes for life. in an American prison, after having been one of the sponsors of the movement.

Legal and diplomatic sources from the United States and Afghanistan have revealed, according to Foreign Policy magazine, that the Taliban are trying to trade drug lord Bashir Noorzai with an American engineer who has been detained for nearly two years, Eric Frerich.

Rather, he lobbied Americans by threatening to prevent the evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans who have American citizenship or seek to leave the country to America, who have worked with American forces for years past, until the fall of Kabul in the hands of the Taliban.

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As for the reason for the Taliban’s “desperation” to free Noorzai, it is due to the fact that quest’the latter contributed heavily with the resources of his drug trafficking, in particular opium and heroin, to the financing and arming of the Taliban, before being arrested in New York in 2005 on charges of drug trafficking and since 2009 he has served two life sentences.

As for the American engineer, he is a former US Navy soldier, kidnapped in January 2020 while working on development projects in Afghanistan.

blackmail

Steve Brooking, who most recently served as special adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan regarded the movement’s demands as “blackmail”.

He also noted that the Taliban had openly told Washington they would not release Frerich unless the drug dealer was released.

However, a US State Department official found this scenario inaccurate, refusing to provide further details.

Interestingly, the Taliban had promised, after taking power in late August, that they would eliminate the drug industry in the country, which is estimated in billions of dollars and which represents 85% of world opium production, but the facts on the ground are still not promising in light of the poor economic and living situation in the country.

During the 20 years of American presence in Afghanistan, the movement used drug trafficking to finance its own insurgency.

And last year, thearea cultivated with poppy in Afghanistan has increased 37 percent to 554,000 acres, according to estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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