The Taliban released a propaganda video Wednesday showing the release of US Army captive Bowe Berdahl to US Special Ops, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Don’t come back to Afghanistan,” a Taliban fighter tells him in Pashto, which Bergdahl reportedly began learning back in 2009. “Next time we catch you, you won’t leave here alive.”
He is gaunt and dressed in Afghan clothing, looking distressed but with no visible wounds.
The hand-off was quick — the Americans briefly clasping the hands of the Taliban insurgents escorting Bergdahl before ushering him into the Black Hawk helicopter. The insurgents were armed with assault rifles and a grenade launcher.
“When they landed, I was expecting to have words with them, but the soldiers were in a hurry and were so nervous. We shook hands with only a few of them before they fled,” said one of the insurgents. “They were in such a hurry they didn’t even let us shake hands with Bergdahl [to say goodbye]. It was very strange,” he joked.
The US military says there is “no reason to doubt the video’s authenticity.”
The Taliban also were the first to provide footage of the five high-ranking insurgents traded for Bergdahl arriving in Qatar Sunday. They were received with a joyous hero’s welcome and their release was hailed as a “great victory” for the Taliban. (RELATED: Prisoner Exchange Won’t Bring Peace Talks, Taliban Says)
Bergdahl first disappeared in the summer of 2009.