At least two captured Taliban officials have been released in exchange for the release of a kidnapped Italian journalist, Afghan intelligence officials tell ABC News. Italian journalist Daniel Mastrogiacomo and his translator were kidnapped by Taliban fighters two weeks ago in southern Afghanistan. Following their capture, a top Taliban commander threatened to kill the men if spokesmen for their movement were not released within seven days. The commander also said they had killed the Afghan driver that was traveling with Mastrogiacomo. Mastrogiacomo was released today following the release of the Taliban officials who were in the custody of the Afghan federal government. The exchange was handled by the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security. Both of the released Taliban fighters had been captured in Pakistan and turned over to the Afghan government. One of the men, Abdul Latif Hakimi, had been a spokesperson for the Taliban. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. Mastrogiacomo’s release was confirmed today by the Italian embassy in Afghanistan, and he is now in a hospital run by an Italian NGO in Lashkar Gah. ABC News consultant Jack Cloonan, a former FBI agent now with Clayton Consultants, a crisis management firm, has dealt with kidnap-for-ransom situations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He says that while hostage trades are made all the time, they are usually for cash, not the release of captured fighters. "This suggests to me that the Italian government got involved," said Cloonan. "Once that happens, everything is on the table." Cloonan said the trade is also a clear reflection of the unstable security situation there and the weakness Hamid Karzai’s government. "It shows you that things haven’t changed," said Cloonan. "The security situation there is so bad that they’re going back to the Taliban culture. They trade." Photo of Daniel Mastrogiacomo Courtesy of La Repubblica.