Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a senior Taliban and Haqqani Network leader, was intricately linked to Al Qaeda. he viewed the two groups as inseparable “brothers.” The U.S. killed Sangeen and an Al Qaeda bomb maker in a drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.
In a video released earlier this month, the Taliban trumpeted the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban commanders who were held at Guantanamo. The Taliban says this “achievement” was the result of its extensive operations in Afghanistan’s Paktika province.
The Taliban claims that two recently captured Haqqani operatives had recently met with members of the “Taliban Five” in Qatar. The Taliban Five is a group of senior Taliban leaders who were exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl earlier this year.
Mullah Omar discusses the Taliban’s governance efforts at length in a message commemorating the end of Ramadan.
The Taliban has released a statement on the prisoner exchange that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The Taliban says that its five “prominent” leaders have been freed in exchange for an American soldier, and that it did not participate in direct negotiations with the US to complete the swap.