A captured American soldier is training Taliban fighters bomb-making and ambush skills, according to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials.
Private Bowe Bergdahl disappeared in June 2009 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is thought to be the only U.S. serviceman in captivity.
The 24-year-old has converted to Islam and now has the Muslim name Abdullah, one of his captors told The Sunday Times.
Captured: U.S. solider Private Bowe Bergdahl, pictured in a video released in April, is teaching the Taliban bomb-making skills, according to one of his captors
A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, told the newspaper that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb.
Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier.
‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’
Afghan intelligence officials also believe that Bergdahl is ‘cooperating with the Taliban’ and is acting as adviser to fighters at a base in the tribal area of Pakistan.
Nadeem also shed some light on how Bergdahl was captured.
After the serviceman left his post in Paktika’s Yahya Khel district with an Afghan soldier he was spotted entering a nearby village.
A group of eight Taliban gunman in a nearby field were alerted and ambushed the pair, killing the Afghan soldier.
At home in Idaho: Bergdahl with his trail bike in Hailey, near the Idaho tourist resort of Sun Valley
Bergdahl was knocked to the ground and ordered to strip and put on Afghan clothing. His kidnappers disposed of all his clothing and belongings, fearing he may be bugged.
The American was initially terrified that he would be beheaded, Nadeem said, but has since become ‘very relaxed in our company’.
In April, a harrowing video of Bergdahl pleading for his freedom was released by the Taliban.
In the footage, Bergdahl said he wants to return to his family in Idaho and that the war in Afghanistan is not worth the number of lives that have been lost or wasted in prison.
It was the first he had been seen since the Taliban released a previous video of him at Christmas.
Bergdahl was stationed in Paktika’s Yahya Khel district when he was captured
The seven-minute video of Bergdahl shows him sporting a beard and doing a few press-ups to demonstrate he’s in good physical condition.
There was no way to verify when the footage was taken or if he is still alive.
In the sometimes choppy video, Bergdahl talked about his love for his family, his friends, motorcycles and sailing.
‘I’m a prisoner. I want to go home,’ he said.
‘This war isn’t worth the waste of human life that has cost both Afghanistan and the U.S. It’s not worth the amount of lives that have been wasted in prisons, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, all those places where we are keeping prisoners.’
At times speaking haltingly, as if holding back emotions, Bergdahl – clad in what appeared to be an Army shirt and fatigues – clasped his hands together and pleaded: ‘The pain in my heart to see my family again doesn’t get any smaller.
‘Release me. Please, I’m begging you, bring me home.’
Video plea: Bergdahl begs to be allowed to return to his family in footage released by the Taliban in April
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305184/Bowe-Bergdahl-Taliban-claim-captured-U-S-solider-teaching-fighters-bomb-making-skills.html#ixzz33fCTr713
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