PARIS - 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 Sunday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity.
The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.
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 Sunday that military doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center say that while 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.
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 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 Bergdahl's fellow soldiers maintain that Americans died during efforts to find and save him.
On Wednesday, Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, abruptly canceled plans for a welcome-home celebration, citing security concerns. And on Saturday the FBI said Bergdahl's family had received threats that are being investigated by federal, state and local authorities.
The U.S. official told the AP that Bergdahl's parents were being harassed and threatened, including death threats.
Prosecutor: Mom injected feces into son's IV
A West Virginia mother injected feces into her son’s intravenous line as he recovered from surgery at a local hospital, according to…
Child predator phishing scam poses as alert
The Better Business Bureau was warning of a new scam that targets any parent worried for their child's safety, RTV6 sister station WXYZ reported.
Critics say Argentina's president shifting blame
After the death of an Argentine prosecutor, the country's president wants to replace the intelligence bureau with a new federal agency.
Madagascar locust plague could create famine
The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts.
U.S., Saudi Arabia relationship is complicated
Despite Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record, it remains a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
'Ghostbusters' director stokes casting rumors
McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon and Jones are in negotiations to star in Paul Feig's movie, but some media may be jumping the proton gun.