U.S. secretary of State John Kerry on CNN
“I’m not telling you that they don’t have some ability at some point to go back and get involved, but they also have an ability to get killed doing that”—U.S. secretary of State John Kerry on CNN answering concerns that the five Taliban members released in exchange for the American soldier Bowe Bergdahl may return to a life of jihad.
This comment by Kerry instantly prompted a question in my mind—What if? As in, what if a highly sophisticated microchip has been implanted in each of the the five men which the U.S. can use to track their movement? By that I do not mean a subdermal implant that causes an unseemly bump on the outer skin but something way more sophisticated and GPS-enabled deep inside these men. Microchip implants are no longer in the realm of science fiction fantasy. They very much exist. Of course, there are genuine concerns that because of their radio frequency component they can cause cancer among those wearing it. However, the U.S. security-espionage industrial complex may consider that to be a moot point when it comes to the Taliban members or suspected terrorists.
Secretary Kerry has implied that if these men tried to return to their suspected jihadi life, they could be targets of drone strikes. Kerry used a rather cryptic comment in saying that the U.S. has "the ability to do things" to them. That is an ominous threat left hanging by America’s highest diplomat. It is not entirely inconceivable that these men may have been turned into human radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders without their knowledge. (Utter speculation).
For now they have been released to the authorities in Qatar.I am not sure if eventually they will be allowed to return to Afghanistan or Pakistan or wherever they choose to go. In the short-term, they could provide the Talban some valuable insights into the way the American government handles suspected terrorists but beyond that their value to the group would naturally diminish. If they were not Taliban members of consequence to begin with, then I suppose they may not mean much to the group. Since I am unaware of the terms of their release, it would be reckless to speculate. It is strange that I am becoming conscious of recklessness after wondering whether they carry sophisticated GPS-enabled microchips in their bodies.
Another question that comes to mind is this. How is it that if these men were not crucial enough the Taliban would kidnap an American soldier and then swap him for five of them? After all 5:1 ratio is quite high, albeit it normal in such exchanges. America’s failure to build enough evidence against them sits rather incongruously with the Taliban regarding them as important enough to let Bergdahl go.
While reading about Kerry’s “the ability do things” I am also reminded of a scheme that the key 2008 Mumbai terror plotter David Headley had tried to sell to his U.S. interrogators. As part of his plea deal to offer extraordinary cooperation to the U.S. investigators, Headley had suggested this scheme about Al Qaeda/Harkat ul Jihad al Islami leader Ilyas Kashmiri.
Since Headley was in contact with Kashmiri prior to his arrest and because after his arrest Headley wanted to prove to U.S. federal investigators how serious he was about his cooperation with them, he might have said things that helped track Kashmiri down. Just how desperate Headley was to spill the beans became evident during his testimony. He proposed to the investigators that they should send him back to Pakistan with an ornate sword embedded with a locator chip which he could gift Kashmiri. The US then could use the signal from the chip to locate and target him. We will never know for sure whether he was sent back with such a sword.
Kashmiri was killed on June 3, 2011 in a drone strike on an orchard in South Waziristan.
At the very least my speculation could be a basis for an edge-of-the-seat Hollywood thriller. I am claiming copyright on the idea right now. So violators, beware.