The public uproar over the exchange of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five U.S.-held Taliban agents has extended beyond Bowe and the Obama administration to Bergdahl’s family.
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Bergdahl’s father in particular has caught the public eye. Bill O’Reilly said that the bearded Bergdahl “looked like a Muslim,” The Washington Post reported, and Bergdahl’s neighbors and associates grew concerned as he began studying Pashto, one of the official languages of Afghanistan, growing a beard, and intensely studying the culture and religion of the Taliban and the Afghans that his son had spent time with, The Washington Post reported.
The Bergdahls' former pastor, Bob Henley “would ask Bergdahl if he hadn’t crossed some line, if he hadn’t succumbed to some form of the captive-bonding Stockholm syndrome,” The Washington Post wrote.
Bergdahl also has a controversial Twitter account that Business Insider has examined. Bergdahl’s Twitter activity has included tweeting Taliban press releases, tweeting Quran verses at Taliban members and advocating for the release of Guantanamo prisoners such as Moazzam Begg, who was accused of aiding jihadists in Syria, the Business Insider reported.
Business Insider describes Bergdahl’s Twitter as an account “in which he seemed to delve into and at times even mirror the mindset of the people who held his son captive for half a decade,” stating that it was an accurate reflection of exactly how complicated the event was for Bergdahl senior.