Bill Roggio writes at the Weekly Standard:
The British are all smiles over the release of Peter Moore, a British citizen who was held hostage by an Iranian-backed Shia terror group in Iraq. But there is little talk about the price paid to secure Moore's release. The US military has freed Qais Qazali, the leader of the Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous, as well as his brother Laith, several Qods Force officers, and more than 100 members of the terror group, in exchange for Moore. And that isn't all. The British also received the corpses of three security contractors who were working to protect Moore when he was kidnapped at the Finance Ministry in Baghdad in May 2007. The three contractors were executed by the Asaib al Haq; another is also thought to have been killed.
Qais Qazli wasn't just some run of the mill Shia thug; his group is backed by Iran. Qazali's men were trained by Iranian Qods Force to infiltrate and assault the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala in January 2007. Five US soldiers were killed during the kidnapping attempt. The US soldiers were executed after US and Iraqi security forces closed in on the assault team.
The attack on the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center was a complex, sophisticated operation. The assault team, led by tactical commander Azhar al Dulaimi (who was later killed by the US military), was trained in a mock-up of the center that was built in Iran. The unit had excellent intelligence and received equipment that made them appear to be US soldiers. Some of the members of the assault team are said to have spoken English. They drove SUVs that looked like ones used by US contractors.
Andy McCarthy is not amused:
Back in the early summer, I wrote about how, even as the Iranian regime continued killing American troops, the Obama administration had engaged in shameful negotiations with an Iran-backed terror network (the League of the Righteous) in Iraq — negotiations that resulted in the release of Laith Qazali, one of the terrorists responsible for the murders of five American soldiers in Karbala, in exchange for the remains of two British hostages.
Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration released the "Irbil Five," commanders from the Iranian IRGC's elite "Quds Force" who had been captured by our military after coordinating terrorist attacks in Iraq that have killed hundreds of American soldiers and Marines.
Today, New Year's Eve, while everyone's attention is understandably on family and friends, we learn (thanks to the ever alert Bill Roggio, reporting on the Standard's blog) that the administration has now released Qais Qazali, Laith's brother, who is the head of the Iran-backed terror network, in addition to a hundred other terrorists. In violation of the long-standing, commonsense policy against capitulating to kidnappers and terrorists because it just encourages more hostage-taking and murder, the terrorists were released in exchange for a British hostage and the remains of his three contract guards (whom the terrorists had murdered).
So, as the mullahs, America's incorrigible enemies, struggle to hang on, we're giving them accommodations and legitimacy. And the messages we send? Terrorize us and we'll negotiate with you. Kill American troops or kidnap civilians and win valuable concessions — including the release of an army of jihadists, and its leaders, who can now go back to targeting American troops.