Aug 22 2010
Taliban claim captured U.S. solider has converted to Islam and is teaching its fighters bomb-making skills
I know we all want to think he is doing this to save his life. But I recall that there was talk back when he was captured that he had ‘wandered off’ from his unit and there was suspicion he was AWOL.
While I never question the integrity of our troops, this story seems to have a lot of holes. There never seemed to be a massive effort to find this soldier. There were few stories about his status as is the case with other captured soldiers. After the initial flurry of media coverage after he was first captured, the story seemed to die, only to resurface now, a year or so later, with the soldier looking all Muslimed up. Any other insight would be welcome. I’m just guessing here.Bergdahl then
A captured American soldier is training Taliban fighters bomb-making and ambush skills, according to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials. Private Bowe Bergdahl disappeared in June 2009 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is thought to be the only U.S. serviceman in captivity.
The 24-year-old has converted to Islam and now has the Muslim name Abdullah, one of his captors told The Sunday Times.
A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, told the newspaper that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb. Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier.
‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’
Nadeem also shed some light on how Bergdahl was captured.
After the serviceman left his post in Paktika’s Yahya Khel district with an Afghan soldier he was spotted entering a nearby village. A group of eight Taliban gunman in a nearby field were alerted and ambushed the pair, killing the Afghan soldier. Bergdahl was knocked to the ground and ordered to strip and put on Afghan clothing. His kidnappers disposed of all his clothing and belongings, fearing he may be bugged.
The American was initially terrified that he would be beheaded, Nadeem said, but has since become ‘very relaxed in our company’.
In April, a harrowing video of Bergdahl pleading for his freedom was released by the Taliban. In the footage, Bergdahl said he wants to return to his family in Idaho and that the war in Afghanistan is not worth the number of lives that have been lost or wasted in prison.
It was the first he had been seen since the Taliban released a previous video of him at Christmas.
The seven-minute video of Bergdahl shows him sporting a beard and doing a few press-ups to demonstrate he’s in good physical condition. There was no way to verify when the footage was taken or if he is still alive. In the sometimes choppy video, Bergdahl talked about his love for his family, his friends, motorcycles and sailing.
‘I’m a prisoner. I want to go home,’ he said. This war isn’t worth the waste of human life that has cost both Afghanistan and the U.S. It’s not worth the amount of lives that have been wasted in prisons, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, all those places where we are keeping prisoners.’
At times speaking haltingly, as if holding back emotions, Bergdahl – clad in what appeared to be an Army shirt and fatigues – clasped his hands together and pleaded: ‘The pain in my heart to see my family again doesn’t get any smaller. ‘Release me. Please, I’m begging you, bring me home.’ UK DAILY MAIL