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 10:35 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 5:51 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
updated 7:52 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
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