A photograph posted to the Internet appears to show Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl smiling next to a former member of the Taliban.
The unverified image, posted Wednesday to a Twitter account associated with the Taliban, depicts the former prisoner of war grinning while standing next to an alleged leader. The commander, identified in the tweet as “Leader Badar’udin Haqqani,” has his left arm wrapped around Bergdahl’s shoulder. Arabic text appears across the bottom of the picture.
Haqqani was killed two years ago during a suspected U.S. missile strike in Pakistan. His death was a major misfortune for the Haqqani network, which is tied to the Taliban.
It remains unclear when the photograph was taken.
The Taliban held Bergdahl captive for nearly five years before he was released from Afghanistan in exchange for five Guatanamo Bay prisoners. He recently shifted to outpatient status at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas as he nears the end of his reintegration process.
Critics quickly pounced on President Barack Obama’s approval of the swap in May, calling it a violation of the National Defense Authorization Act that requires the country’s chief executive to notify Congress 30 days before transferring prisoners from Gitmo.
The Army has begun its investigation into the events surrounding Bergdahl’s mysterious departure from his post in 2009.