A new video, below, containing footage of the only American soldier held captive by the Taliban for almost 18 months has been released on the Internet.
Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Ketchum, Idaho, was 23 when he disappeared from his combat outpost in Afghanistan’s southeastern Paktika province and was last seen in a video released in April.
This still image shows what appears to be U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, left, who has been held hostage by the Taliban since his disappearance from his unit June 30, 2009.Images from the new footage, released Tuesday, show the soldier wearing an open-necked tan shirt, with a wound just below his left eye. Previous videos showed Bergdahl with a beard, but he appears clean-shaven with tightly cropped hair in the latest release. In August, Taliban commander Haji Nadeem had claimed the soldier had converted to Islam and was now training insurgents.
It is not clear when the footage was shot. But spokesman Lt. Col. Timothy Marsano told CNN that the serviceman’s family had seen stills from the video and confirmed that the gaunt-looking Westerner was the missing soldier.
The video — obtained by IntelCenter, a U.S. think tank that tracks terrorist groups — was reportedly put out by Manba al-Jihad, a propaganda production group linked with the Taliban. IntelCenter said that most of the 45-minute video shows militant attacks in Afghanistan and that Bergdahl is featured only briefly.
In one shot, he reportedly appears with a Taliban leader who had threatened to kill the American captive in a July 2009 video.