While Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl recovers at a military hospital in Germany after being held captive by the Taliban for 5 years, new video emerged Wednesday showing the dramatic moment he was released to U.S. special forces.
The 17-minute video, released by the Afghan Taliban, shows Bergdahl clean-shaven and dressed in white traditional Afghan dress on a mountainside in eastern Khost province on Saturday. One of the Taliban members can be heard telling Bergdahl in Pashto, “Don’t come back to Afghanistan. You won’t make it out alive next time,” according to a translation by the Associated Press. Several of the men are heard laughing.
A Pentagon spokesman told AP there was no reason to doubt the authenticity of the video. “Regardless, we know the transfer was peaceful and successful, and our focus remains on getting Sgt. Bergdahl the care he needs,” Rear Adm. John Kirby said Wednesday.
Once aboard the Blackhawk helicopter, U.S. military officials said Bergdahl wrote on a piece of paper “SF?” — meaning special forces. When the American troops on board yelled out “Yes!” Bergdahl broke down in tears. Bergdahl remains at Landstuhl Military Medical Center in Germany, where he is recovering. U.S. military officials are planning to question him about what happened the night he was captured after reportedly walking off his base in Afghanistan in 2009.