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.
WATCH: Ed Sheeran sweet wedding surprise
The video " Ed Sheeran Surprises Deserving Wedding Couple " is #trendingUP and you can see it now, on The List !
What's difference about latest Ebola vaccine
A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here's what's different about this vaccine.
Critical injuries in NYC fire, building collapse
An apartment building on fire near New York University collapsed on Thursday, two nearby buildings began burning and several people were…
The pope's US tour: White House, Congress, UN
On Thursday, press secretary Josh Earnest announced Pope Francis will make a stop at the White House during a trip to the U.S. in September.
Germanwings crash and cockpit security concerns
Measures designed to prevent intruders from accessing the cockpit allowed one pilot to lock the other out before the Germanwings Airbus 320 crash.
National Guardsman arrested in alleged ISIS plot
The FBI has arrested Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds and his cousin Jonas Edmonds on suspicion of conspiring to support ISIS.