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US Contractor Released by Taliban After Swap for Trafficker

  • Frerichs freed after 2 1/2 years of captivity in Afghanistan
  • Biden agreed to commute the sentence of Bashir Noorzai
Bashir Noorzai, center, a senior Taliban detainee held at Guantanamo attends his release ceremony, at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Bashir Noorzai, center, a senior Taliban detainee held at Guantanamo attends his release ceremony, at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Photographer: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
Updated on

Navy veteran and US contractor Mark Frerichs is free after 2 1/2 years of captivity in Afghanistan under a prisoner swap personally approved by President Joe Biden, senior administration officials said Monday. 

Biden agreed to commute the sentence of Bashir Noorzai, an Afghan who was convicted in 2008 of running a major heroin-smuggling operation. He had been in US custody for 17 years.