Bergdahl seen smiling next to Taliban commander in photo

A photo surfaced Wednesday showing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl while in captivity, smiling and standing next to a senior Taliban commander.

The photo was posted on a Twitter account run by a Taliban sympathizer, an official for the group told NBC News. It’s unclear whether Bergdahl was forced to pose for the picture.

A series of tweets from that same account said Bergdahl, whom the Taliban held captive from June 2009 until late May 2014, was treated well.


“Bowe #Bergdahl was really impressed when he saw the hospitality of #Taliban He first thought that he will be tortured But he was wrong,” one tweet said. Another said that after Bergdahl failed an escape attempt “he was seriously expecting #WaterBoarding Electric Shocks & Other Tortures But No ...”

The Taliban leader next to Bergdahl in the photo was identified as Badruddin Haqqani, who was killed in Pakistan in a suspected U.S. airstrike in August 2012.

He was a son of the Haqqani network’s leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was said to be the commander of the militant group’s daily operations.

The photo and tweets come amid reports that Bergdahl is nearing the end of his reintegration process. He was shifted to outpatient care at Fort Sam Houston, a military base in San Antonio, in late June. Bergdahl is expected to be assigned to a new unit once he’s released.

The Army, meanwhile, began its investigation last month into his disappearance from a military base in Afghanistan in 2009. His comrades have said Bergdahl deserted his unit, which if confirmed, would be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Bergdahl’s release in late May sparked heavy criticism from Capitol Hill after lawmakers learned he was swapped for five Taliban prisoners who were released from Guantanamo Bay and sent to Qatar.