FBI investigates threats against Bergdahl family
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Mr. Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity.
The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Mr. Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.
Mr. Bergdahl, now 28, was captured in June 2009 after he disappeared from his infantry unit. He was held for nearly five years by Taliban militants.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that military doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre say that while Mr. Bergdahl is physically able to travel he’s not yet emotionally prepared to be reunited with his family. He has not yet spoken to his family.
Mr. Bergdahl was returned to the U.S. military in exchange for the release of five Taliban militants from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The deal, which the Obama White House brokered without consulting Congress, ignited a political firestorm that shows no signs of abating.
Lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, who initially praised Mr. Bergdahl’s release, quickly backed off amid questions about whether he was a deserter who walked away from his post and an outcry over the exchange. Some of Mr. Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers maintain that Americans died during efforts to find and save him.
Bergdahl’s Family receives threat
On Wednesday, Mr. Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, abruptly cancelled plans for a welcome-home celebration, citing security concerns. And on Saturday the FBI said Mr. Bergdahl’s family had received threats that are being investigated by federal, state and local authorities.
The U.S. official told the AP that Mr. Bergdahl’s parents were being harassed and threatened, including death threats.