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Bowe Robert Bergdahl
(born March 28, 1986 in Sun Valley, Idaho) is a United States Army soldier, who is currently in the captivity
of the Taliban supporting Haqqani network, since June 2009.
Bergdahl is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th
Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He went missing on June 30, 2009. Since then, the
Taliban has released five videos showing him in captivity. The Taliban have demanded $1 million and the
release of 21 Afghan prisoners and Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for Bergdahl's release. They have threatened
to execute Bergdahl if Siddiqui is not released. Most of the Afghan prisoners are being held at
At the time of his capture, Bergdahl's rank was that of Private First Class (E-3). In June 2010, he was
promoted to Specialist (E-4) during his absence
On July 18, 2009, the Taliban released a video showing they had captured Bergdahl. In the video,
Bergdahl appeared downcast and frightened. A Department of Defense statement issued on July 19
confirmed that Bergdahl was declared "missing/whereabouts unknown" on July 1, and his status was
changed to "missing/captured" on July 3.
In the 28-minute video his captors hold up his dog tags to establish the captured man is Bergdahl.
Bergdahl gives the date as July 14 and mentions an attack which occurred that day.
Accounts of his capture differ. The version offered by Bergdahl, in the video, is that he was captured when
he fell behind on a patrol. CNN, in its report, cites both Taliban and U.S. military sources, the former
alleging he was ambushed after becoming drunk off base, and the latter denying that claim stating: "The
Taliban are known for lying and what they are claiming (is) not true."
A Department of Defense spokesperson, Lieutenant Commander Christine Sidenstricker, said, "I'm glad to
see he appears unharmed, but again, this is a Taliban propaganda video. They are exploiting the soldier in
violation of international law."
According to the Associated Press, General Nabi Mullakheil of the Afghan National Police said the capture
occurred in Paktika Province. Their other sources inform them that he was captured by a Taliban group
led by Maulvi Sangin, who has moved him to Ghazni Province. The Guardian quoted sources who speculated
about the increased difficulty of a rescue mission if Bergdahl had been smuggled across the nearby border
The Associated Press also quoted Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, as saying: "the militants holding
the soldier haven't yet set any conditions for his release."
CNN described two Pashto-language leaflets the U.S. military was distributing in seeking Bergdahl. One
showed a smiling GI shaking hands with Afghan children, with a caption that called him a guest in
Afghanistan. The other showed a door being broken down, and threatened that those holding Bergdahl
would be hunted down.
In December 2009, five months after Bergdahl's disappearance, the media arm of the Afghan Taliban
announced the release of a new video of "a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan," titled "One of Their
People Testified." In the announcement the Taliban did not name the American, but the only U.S. soldier
known to be in captivity is Bergdahl.
U.S. military officials have been searching for Bergdahl, but it is not publicly known whether he is even
being held in Afghanistan or in neighboring Pakistan, an area off-limits to U.S. forces based in Afghanistan.
On December 25, another video was released that features Bergdahl in a combat uniform and helmet.
He describes his place of birth, deployment to Afghanistan and subsequent capture. He then makes
several statements regarding his humane treatment by his captors, contrasting this to the abuses suffered
by insurgents in prisons. He finishes by saying that America should not be in Afghanistan and that it is just
On April 7, 2010, the Taliban released a third video of Bergdahl, now with a full head of hair and a beard,
pleading for the release of Afghan prisoners held at Guantanamo and Bagram.
In November 2010, Bergdahl appeared briefly in a fourth video.
In May 2011, Bergdahl appeared briefly in a fifth video.
Threat of reprisal
On February 4, 2010, the Afghan Taliban demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who
was convicted by a U.S. court on charges of attempting to murder U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and
threatened to execute Bergdahl if their demand was not met. The Taliban claimed that members of
Siddiqui's family had requested their assistance.
Reports of joining the Taliban
Fox News reported that the Taliban and Afghanistan Intelligence indicated that Bergdahl was helping to
train the Taliban in bomb making and infantry tactics. The Pentagon dismissed the reports as Taliban
Copied From Wikipedia on: Thurs. June 6, 2011 at: 6:46pm Ohio time.
Clocks are so you will know what Time it is for Bowe. (Time is EST).