The White House has said that officials considered what they called "unique and exigent circumstances" and decided to go ahead with the transfer of Guantanamo detainees in exchange for US Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
The detainees are among the most senior Afghans still held at the prison. They are:
- Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence.
- Mullah Norullah Nori, a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001.
- Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.
- Mohammed Nabi, who served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan.
- Mohammad Fazl, whom Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate their control over the country.
More top news
People who suffer from back pain may have closer links to their chimpanzee ancestors, according to researchers.
David Cameron will say the Tories are the party of the "grafters, roofers, retailers and plumbers" as he set out plans to help small firms
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg will say his party are fighting '60 Eastleighs' on the campaign trail in the Hampshire constituency today.