|(From left to right) Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, and Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa.|
Asked if this type of swap might embolden other militants to take hostages, Hagel said that this operation was a prisoner exchange. And he said terrorist groups are already kidnapping young school girls, business people and other innocent people.
Hagel declined to say whether he believes Bergdahl was attempting to desert the Army or go absent without leave when he walked away from his unit and disappeared nearly five years ago.
“Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” Hagel said. “Other circumstances that may develop and questions — those will be dealt with later.”
Taliban joyous over Bergdahl swap (vow to get all their detainees released)
— S.M (@redsteeze) June 1, 2014