Taliban Post Picture of Terrorist with Smiling US Captive

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 04:37 PM

 

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U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for five years, appeared smiling alongside a terrorist commander in a photo posted on a Twitter account purporting to be from the Afghan Taliban.

The account posted the photo late on Wednesday along with others of Bergdahl, as well as gruesome images of a decapitation. It said the soldier was treated with kindness in captivity.

"Bowe #Bergdahl was really impressed when he saw the hospitality of #Taliban He first thought that he will be tortured But he was wrong," the Twitter post said. "He was not shackled in Chains neither was he Tortured, Rather He was Free."

Bergdahl was captured on June 30, 2009, in unclear circumstances. He was released on May 31 in a prisoner swap that freed five top Taliban terrorists held at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He has not spoken to the media since his release, and the Twitter account's description of his time in captivity could not be confirmed.

A Taliban member told NBC News the rebel group did not own the Twitter account that posted the picture, but that it was run by a known sympathizer who worked at an Afghan university and had copied the photo from the militants' Facebook accounts.

The picture is tagged with the words "Jundul Haqqani," a reference to the Haqqani terrorist network.

 

The Twitter account identified the man in the photo with Bergdahl as Badruddin Haqqani, head of operations and financial chief for the Haqqani network. The insurgent group is blamed for some of the deadliest and most spectacular attacks on NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

A drone strike killed Badruddin Haqqani in 2012 in northwestern Pakistan.

Bergdahl's release sparked a bitter debate over whether he had abandoned his post and whether President Obama was swapping top terrorists for an Army deserter..

Some of his former colleagues have called for him to be tried for allegedly deserting his post.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the army is investigating the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance. He was the only U.S. soldier to be captured and held hostage during the war in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl was initially flown to a U.S. hospital in Germany. Last month he arrived back on U.S. soil and has been housed at a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, to help him readjust.


© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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