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Taliban to release tape of captured U.S. soldier

A terrorism monitoring group says the Taliban have announced they will release a new video of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Taliban have announced they will release a new video of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan, a U.S.-based terrorism monitoring group said Wednesday.

SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based terrorist tracking organization, said the media arm of the Afghan Taliban made the announcement Wednesday on their Web site.

The video is said to be titled, "One of Their People Testified." The Taliban did not name the American.

The only U.S. soldier known to be in captivity is Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, who disappeared more than five months ago in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl, 23, was captured June 30 in the eastern province of Paktika province near the Pakistan border. His Taliban captors released a propaganda video of him about two weeks later. In the July 19 video, Bergdahl appeared downcast and frightened. No subsequent videos have been released.

U.S. military officials have searched for Bergdahl, but it is not publicly known whether he is even being held in Afghanistan or neighboring Pakistan.

‘Waiting to see’
A spokesman for the Idaho National Guard, Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, confirmed he notified the parents about the video this morning after learning about it through news reports.

"They're standing by waiting to see what happens just like everybody else," Marsano said.

He said nothing has changed in the parents' approach with media, preferring to maintain their privacy rather than talk about their son's capture.

"It's been a difficult time for them and their family," he said.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said he talked to the trooper's mother, Jani Bergdahl, this morning: "I talked to Jani. They're kind of anxiously wanting to get some kind of information at this point."

Pakistan is off-limits to the thousands of U.S. forces based in Afghanistan. When militants captured a reporter for The New York Times in a dangerous region of Afghanistan last year, he was transported to Pakistan and held for months there. The reporter, David Rohde, eventually escaped.

In Washington, Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell declined to give any details on any rescue efforts under way or information about Bergdahl's whereabouts.

"Ever since Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl went missing, it has been a top priority for our forces, particularly in (the) East to find him, recover him, bring him home safely," he told a Pentagon press conference. "And that remains the case today."