Skip to main content

Source: Missing U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl seen in video

By Jim Sciutto, CNN
updated 2:49 PM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • First video of Bergdahl in nearly three years surfaces
  • Army soldier was taken captive in 2009, believed held by Taliban-aligned group
  • U.S. efforts to free Bergdahl, including negotiating for his release, have so far failed
  • NEW: Family asks in statement that captors release Bergdahl

Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. military has obtained new video apparently made by those holding the lone American prisoner of war, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

A U.S. military official told CNN the clip shows the Wood River Valley, Idaho, native in diminished health from the effects of close to five years in captivity.

He was seized in Afghanistan in June 2009 and is believed held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Pakistan, the official said.

The so-called proof-of-life video, the first of him in nearly three years, has a reference to December 14, 2013.

Bergdahl family refuses to give up hope
New evidence of POW held in Afghanistan

CNN has not seen the video.

U.S. efforts to free Bergdahl, including negotiating for his release, have so far failed.

"Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release," a Pentagon spokesman said.

Bergdahl strong, well-rounded and easy to talk to, friends say

"We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis -- using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools -- we work to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely," the spokesman said.

His family, who received a letter from him last year via the Red Cross, issued a statement in response to the latest video.

"As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father," the statement reads. "BOWE - If see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"

Bergdahl was 23 when he was captured after finishing a guard shift at a combat outpost in southeastern Paktika province.

The U.S. government acknowledged in May 2012 that it was engaged in talks with the Taliban to free Bergdahl.

The discussions moved in fits and starts because of U.S. concerns that any Taliban prisoners swapped for Bergdahl might be repatriated and allowed to rejoin the fight.

Later that year, however, the White House announced it was willing to send five Taliban prisoners to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl.

U.S. POW's dad to Taliban: 'Let there be peace'

POW and MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan

CNN's Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:35 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
updated 12:40 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT