American Hostage Freed by Taliban, per Family
(LibertySociety.com) – On September 19, the Taliban released American civil engineer Mark Frerichs from prison in Afghanistan in exchange for Bashir Noorzai, a convicted drug trafficker doing time in the United States. Frerichs, a former member of the US Navy, was abducted at the beginning of 2020 and held as a hostage for over 31 months. He was working in Kabul at the time of the kidnapping. His sister, Charlene Cakora, was relieved her brother was finally coming home, saying she and her family never gave up on him.
Navy veteran Mark Frerichs is free after two and a half years of captivity in Afghanistan under a prisoner swap personally approved by President Joe Biden, a senior administration official told NBC News. By @KenDilanianNBC https://t.co/S76r4SU9ZM
— NBC Investigations (@NBCInvestigates) September 19, 2022
President Joe Biden and his administration brokered the deal, which was years in the making. The leader credited US “public servants” and “other partner governments” for their hard work on the matter. He granted Noorzai clemency for his heroin smuggling operation after he served 17 years of his sentence. Biden also called Frerichs’ family to give them the “good news.”
Reports did not mention when the American would land back home, but Reuters announced Frerichs arrived in Doha, Qatar, on the day of his release. The outlet said he was in “good health.”
Former National Security official Eric Lebson hopes this exchange is a sign of more to come from the administration. He said there are more Americans overseas in hostage situations who also need to come home.
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