Captured US soldier in Taliban video: Held by Haqqani network?
The area the kidnapping took place suggests the kidnapping of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl is most likely the work of the Haqqani network, an Al Qaeda-linked group, analysts say.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – A Taliban video of a US soldier kidnapped outside his base in southern Afghanistan nearly three weeks ago may prove to be a valuable bargaining chip for his kidnappers, according to analysts here.Skip to next paragraph
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The soldier, named by the Pentagon today as Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Ketchum, Idaho, has been missing since June 30. According to the US military, he was taken while outside his base in southern Paktika province, a restive region that shares a border with North Waziristan in Pakistan.
He appears shaven-headed and is seen wearing a traditional shalwar kameez in the video (see below), appearing emotional and nervous throughout its 28-minute duration.
“I have my girlfriend who I’m hoping to marry, I have my grandma and grandpas," he says. "I have a very, very good family back in America, and I miss them everyday that I’m gone. I miss them, and I’m afraid that I might never see them again, and I’ll never be able to tell them that I love them again, I’ll never be able to hug them.”
After being prompted by one of his captors, he adds: “Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home.”
Bergdahl's father, Bob, issued the following statement through the Defense Department:
"We hope and pray for our son's safe return to his comrades and then to our family, and we appreciate all the support and expressions of sympathy shown to us by our family members, our friends and others across the nation.... Thank you, and please continue to keep Bowe in your thoughts and prayers."
Haqqani network suspected
The area the kidnapping took place suggests it is most likely the work of the Haqqani network, “who are not traditional Taliban, they’re more strongly associated with Al Qaeda,” says Haroun Mir, Director of Afghanistan’s Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Kabul.