U.S. forces denounced the Afghan government’s decision to release 37 inmates possibly linked to the Taliban from Bagram prison who have been deemed security threats.
The U.S. handed the Bagram prison over to the government of Afghanistan in March 2013.
According to a Jan. 27 statement from United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government has directed the Afghan Review Board to release the first 37 of 88 “dangerous” inmates “who are legitimate threats to security and for whom there is strong evidence of investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation.”
Afghanistan is releasing “dangerous insurgents” with “blood on their hands,” the USFOR-A statement added.
Of the 37 prisoners to be set free under Karzai’s orders, 17 are linked to the making and using of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the number one killer of American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.
Three had knowledge of or participated in attacks that ended up wounding or killing 11 members of the Afghan forces.
Furthermore, four of the 37 “participated in or had knowledge of direct attacks wounding or killing 42 U.S. or Coalition Force members,” said the American forces.
Overall, of the 88 inmates that the U.S. considers a security threat, including the 37 that will be freed, 40 percent have wounded or killed 57 Afghan civilians and security force members and 30 percent have wounded or killed 60 U.S./NATO service members.
The statement pointed out that the U.S. has provided ample evidence against each of the 88 inmates.
Many Bagram prisoners are believed to be high-level Taliban fighters. The U.S. is concerned that once released, they will return to the battlefield.