Taliban: We Found Bergdahl Alone, Cursing Americans
Commanders say they thought it was a trick
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2014 3:56 AM CDT
Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan just before his release.   (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video)

(Newser) – The Taliban were just as confused by Bowe Bergdahl as the Afghan villagers who first encountered him after he allegedly wandered off his base, two former commanders say. Fighters rushed to capture Bergdahl after villagers informed them of his presence, and he was found walking alone, acting strangely, and cursing his fellow Americans, one commander tells NBC. He said "he wasn’t happy with his countrymen, but he didn’t intend to convert to Islam" or become a jihadi, the commander says. Both say that they at first believed it was some kind of trick, and they wondered how and why he had left the base alone—which he may have done more than once. They say he described his departure as a "personal issue."

A commander who left the Taliban in 2010 says that Bergdahl didn't convert to Islam. "Think he had deserted his army with a mission and wanted to accept Islam, but our people didn’t trust him," he says. "That shattered his belief." Taliban sources say Bergdahl was taken to a "safe location" after his capture, and was later moved around sites in Pakistan. A commander still with the Taliban, meanwhile, says the exchange of Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders gives the movement legitimacy and has boosted morale among the hundreds of fighters under his command. The prisoner exchange "shows we are able to deal directly with the Americans and also successfully," he tells Reuters.

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Showing 3 of 143 comments
2cent
Jun 10, 2014 3:13 AM CDT
Bowe knows desertion.
sunnyroberto
Jun 7, 2014 8:52 AM CDT
The 0bama administration has as different story explaining Bergdahl's disappearance and capture. Who do you think is more likely to be telling the truth, 0bama or the Taliban??
Laka
Jun 7, 2014 7:41 AM CDT
Now if you were about to be captured by the Taliban, and you wanted to survive, don't you think Bergdahl's muttering a would be a decent strategy? Since he's still breathing, I'd say it was a good strategy. Of course it would have been a whole lot better strategy not to desert in the first place.