Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl not only ignored local villagers when they warned him that he was headed into Taliban territory, but he seemed intent on doing so, a handful of Afghans told the Washington Post.
The villagers who said they encountered Bergdahl shortly after he walked away from his base in 2009 recall that the U.S. soldier wasn't behaving normally.
“It was very confusing to us. Why would he leave the base?” one villager, Jamal, told the Post. “The people thought it was a covert agenda — maybe he was sent to the village by the U.S.”
Villagers said they told investigators about the incident, adding that they warned the lone soldier that he was heading into enemy territory.
“They tried to tell him not to go there, that it is dangerous. But he kept going over the mountain. The villagers tried to give him water and bread, but he didn’t take it,” the district’s intelligence chief, Ibrahim Manikhel, said in the report.
“We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” he added. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”
Villagers said that aside from the massive search and rescue effort launched by U.S. forces, little in the area changed and life went back to normal. In fact, the report added, they had all but forgotten about the incident until they saw Bergdahl's face last week on the news.
“I had forgotten about that abducted American,” said Manikhel. “I hope the U.S. can re-arrest the Talibs that they released.”