Unverified Photo Shows Bergdahl Smiling With Top Terror Commander While In Captivity
خرسان البلاغ (@khorasan313) July 09, 2014
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — An unverified photo posted on a Twitter account associated with terror groups purportedly shows Army Sgt. Bowe Berdahl with a top terror group commander while he was being held in captivity.
The picture posted by @khorasan313, an account associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, shows a very thin-looking Bergdahl smiling with Badruddin Haqqani, the commander of the Haqqani network’s daily operations, according to CBS News. Haqqani was killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in August 2012.
“Exclusive. US Soldier Bergdahl with Martyr Taliban Leader Badar’udin Haqqani (RH) S/O Shaykh Jalaludin Haqqani (HA),” the tweet reads.
The Arabic writing superimposed over the photo reads “recruited for Haqqani,” CBS News reports.
Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for five years, has been receiving care at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio since returning to the United States on June 13. He initially was being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center at the fort but was shifted last week to outpatient care at the military base.
The 28-year-old has been allowed to go, with supervision, to a grocery store, restaurants, shopping centers and a library as part of the process of getting him comfortable with being out in public, Army spokeswoman Arwen Consaul told The Associated Press.
The Idaho native was freed by the Taliban May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Bergdahl had disappeared from his post in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Some former members of his unit have said that he left of his own accord.
He has not commented publicly on the circumstances of his disappearance, and the Army has made no charges against him. The Army has said it is investigating Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture, but that investigators will not interview him until those helping him recover say it is all right to do so.
Bergdahl’s “reintegration process” has slowly increased his exposure to social settings and groups of people, giving him “a little bit more every day,” Consaul said.
It began with going to facilities at Fort Sam Houston, including the commissary and the gym. It has since progressed to going into San Antonio and visiting various businesses. On these visits, Bergdahl is accompanied by members of his reintegration team, including a psychologist.
The process is about “getting (Bergdahl) comfortable with being out in public and interacting with large groups of people,” Consaul said.
It is unknown if Bergdahl’s family has seen him since his return to the United States. Consaul said because of a request by Bergdahl’s family for privacy, the Army cannot comment on this.
Other people who have been held in captivity and that the military base has worked with in the past have gone through similar interactions as part of their reintegration, Consaul said.
No time has been set for when Bergdahl’s reintegration process will finish, she said.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)