US Contractor Freed by Taliban in Swap for Drug Trafficker

WASHINGTON— An American contractor held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years has been released in exchange for a convicted Taliban drug lord jailed in the United States, the White House said Monday.
Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran who had spent more than a decade in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, was abducted in January 2020 and is believed to have been held since then by the Taliban-linked Haqqani terrorist network. He was traded for Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban associate convicted in a heroin trafficking conspiracy who had spent 17 years behind bars before his release Monday.
U.S. officials said the deal for Frerichs was the result of months of quiet negotiations….

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