In a speech announced the discussion last week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that the health of American and Australian men had deteriorated in Taliban custody. King 63 is, and Weeks 50.
Immediately after their kidnapping, the Afghan government said they appeared to have been kidnapped by a criminal gang. But next month, the Pentagon said that the SEAL Navy had attempted to rescue the two men from the Taliban captivity in eastern Afghanistan but failed the raid.
Four months later, in January 2017, King and Weeks were featured in a Taliban promotional video, trying to be loose.
Both men appeared to be ill in the 13 minute emotional video, in which they pleaded with the US government to negotiate a prisoner swap to win their freedom.
In the video, King said “officials may exchange us for some prisoners in Bagram,” referring to a military prison in Afghanistan where many Taliban insurgents are detained. All three commanders were released on Tuesday holding near the Bagram air base.
The King's hair and beard grew long, and he repeatedly turned to the video and took his eyes on him as he listed the names of his family. At one point, as King described the details of his case, Weeks were leaning over his knees with his head in his hands, flowing tears from his eyes. King again asked the US government to talk to the offenders about a prisoner swap. “We don't know how long the Taliban will be patient,” he said.
Later that year, the Taliban warned that the King was seriously ill with kidney and heart disease. The group said in a statement at the time that they tried to look after it but that they did not have the right facilities "because there are war conditions ahead."
“Condition. . . the teacher said that he has gone profoundly, ”said the statement.
The FBI offered remuneration of up to $ 1 million for information that would result in the release of the King.
Criminal kidnappings are relatively common in Kabul, where gangs often move to the Taliban, which then use them as bargaining chips.
King and Weeks were abducted near the American University campus in Afghanistan, in a busy part of Kabul. The university, founded in 2006, is the first private, not-for-profit university in Afghanistan. King then began teaching in 2014 and Weeks had only started their role for a month before the kidnapping, the university said in a statement that they would be released shortly after kidnapping.
In Tuesday's statement, the university expressed relief regarding the news of the release of the two men. “We look forward to providing all the support we can to Kevin and Tim and their families,” he said.