After being imprisoned for more than two years, US Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was finally released by the Taliban after lengthy, intense negotiations with the current administration.

The Taliban previously denied having Frerichs on their hands. Still, after negotiations involving a prisoner swap for a vital associate of the Afgan rulers, the veteran was released and admitted to having been captive since 2020.

Two Years in Captivity, Now Free

“Today, Mark Frerichs was handed over to the US, and Haji Bashir was handed over to us at Kabul airport,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Acting Afghan Foreign Minister, on Monday.

Bashir Noorzai was a notorious drug lord and Taliban member who had spent 17 years and six months in US captivity. The Afghan druglord was held at the infamous US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to Muttaqi, to which a senior Biden administration official firmly debunked.