While they are masquerading as an official government body, the Taliban in Afghanistan are a ruthless group of terrorist thugs. The same goes for their allies, such as the Haqqani network.
In 2020 civil engineer and Navy veteran Mark Frerichs had been abducted on the streets of Kabul by the Haqqani network. Mark is a 59-year-old Navy veteran and at the time of his abduction was in Afghanistan as a defense contractor working on construction projects that would benefit the local community.
This week a video has surfaced where Mark delivers a heartbreaking plea for help:
All negotiation attempts to free Frerichs have resulted in the Taliban requiring an exchange: Frerichs for convicted Taliban drug lord Bashir Noorzai. The U.S. government has made no headway in these negotiations.
Earlier this year in January, the U.S. Department of State released a statement on the eve of the second anniversary of Frerichs abduction:
Tomorrow marks two years since U.S. Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was taken hostage. Mark is a civil engineer who was helping with construction projects for the benefit of the Afghan people when he was taken captive. Despite his innocence, he remains held hostage by the Taliban and its affiliates.
The United States has raised Mark’s case in every meeting with the Taliban, and we have been clear that the legitimacy the Taliban seek is impossible to consider while they hold a U.S. citizen hostage. His release is among our core, non-negotiable priorities. We will continue to send a clear message to Taliban leadership: immediately and safely release Mark and disavow the practice of hostage-taking.Ned Price, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson
Unfortunately, the release of Frerichs is unlikely without more pressure from the U.S. Hopefully the media attention with the release of this video will galvanize politicians into doing something.
What do you think, does Mark Frerichs have a chance? Will the U.S. release Norzai in exchange? Should they? Let us know in the comments below.