Kabul: A senior Taliban figure, Haji Bashir Noorzai, has been released after decades of detention by the United States and arrived in Kabul on Monday, a Taliban spokesperson said.
“Mr. Haji Bashir was released after two decades of imprisonment and arrived in Kabul today,” said Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesperson based in Doha, in a Tweet.
He was one of the people close to Mullah Mohammad Omar, the founder and former leader of the Taliban and one of the financiers of this group
He was arrested by the American police in New York in 2005 on charges of drug trafficking and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Sources close to the Taliban say that Noorzai was released from prison by the Taliban in exchange for the release of an American citizen, but they did not say anything about the identity of the American citizen.
The Taliban has not officially confirmed this issue, but the US government has repeatedly demanded the release of American veteran Mark Frericks by the Taliban.
Noorzi was one of the biggest money changers in southern Afghanistan who had created a large network for currency exchange during the Taliban rule.
He was also one of the former jihadi commanders who became famous due to his relationship with Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader and founder of the Taliban, and was considered one of the financial supporters of the Taliban during the first rule of this group in Afghanistan.