On Sunday, President Joe Biden called for the Taliban to release US Navy SEAL Veteran Mark Frerichs. The Taliban took him hostage in Afghanistan two years ago.
The Taliban-linked Haqqani Network
US Navy SEAL Mark Frerichs is a civil engineer and contractor from Lombard, Illinois. The Taliban kidnaped him in January 2020 from the capital of Kabul, and he is in the custody of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. The terrorist organization founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani is a Sunni Islamist militant group that gained traction during the anti-Soviet war.
Associated with Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the organization is infamous for high-profile attacks during the Afghan war. The attacks include the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel and the assault of the US Embassy in Kabul. Many of these attacks were orchestrated by the Haqqani and Taliban.
The Call To Release Navy SEAL Veteran Mark Frerichs
“Threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is always unacceptable, and hostage-taking is an act of particular cruelty and cowardice,” President Joe Biden said. “The Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable.”
Currently, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan faces a humanitarian crisis after the US withdrawal in August. The foreign aid flowing into the country quickly halted, putting the lives of millions of Afghans at risk of starvation and freezing temperatures.
Frerichs’ sister, Charlene Cakora, said that her family is “grateful” for Biden’s words.
“But what we really want is to have Mark home,” she said. “We know the president has options in front of him to make that happen and hope Mark’s safe return will become a priority for him personally.”
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