KABUL, Afghanistan -- A U.S.-based militant media monitor says new video footage has been released showing a man who appears to be Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman being held in captivity in Afghanistan.
According to Col. Tim Marsano with the Idaho National Guard, Bergdahl's family has seen the photos released by a video production group called Manba al-Jihad, which has ties to the Taliban. There is no indication when the photos were taken, but the family confirms the man in the pictures is Bowe Bergdahl.
CNN reports that in a nearly 45-minute video that was also released, Bergdahl is wearing an open-necked, tan shirt and has a large abrasion on his left cheek. He appears clean-shaven, although in earlier videos released to the media, Bergdahl had a beard.
A speaker in the video says the Paktia mujahadeen captured the soldier and that he is in the custody of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and has all Islamic rights.
The IntelCenter, which tracks militant messages on the Internet, said in a statement released on Wednesday that another man in the video is believed to be a Taliban commander who had threatened to kill Bergdahl.
Col. Marsano said that the Bergdahl family's spirits are high despite it being a very difficult year and a half since Bowe was captured.
They're doing about as well as you could expect in extraordinary difficult circumstances, Col. Tim Marsano told KTVB on the phone. They've really relied on the support they've gotten from their family, friends, and the community. If you go into the Wood River Valley, throughout the town of Hailey and into Ketchum, you're going to see yellow ribbons, bumper stickers saying 'Bring Bowe Home.'
Marsano said even though they do not know when the photos and video were taken, it does give Bergdahl's family hope that he is still alive.
I do know that the family does take heart in seeing photos of their son alive, whether they're new or old. It does give them hope, said Col. Marsano.
Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009, when he disappeared in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan.
These pictures are the first that have been seen of him since April, but it's not clear when they were taken.