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 4:31 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
updated 1:58 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The sights couldn't be sadder: Animals killed or suffering through war in Gaza.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
They are the faces of a community on the run. Photographer Warzer Jaff documents the plight of the Yazidis.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
A cameraman films a massive New York City subway rat charging at him and attacking him. WPIX reports.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT