This video showing the handover of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released today by Al-Emara (The Emirate), the “Jihadi Studio” of the Taliban.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said over the weekend that the exchange was quick and uneventful, as the video reflects, though he said the details of the handover were classified.
Special Operations forces “took every possible precaution we could take through intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, through having enough of our assets positioned in the right locations having enough helicopters, doing everything we possibly could do to anticipate any violence or anything going in a different direction.”
“Fortunately, as you know, no shots were fired. There was no violence. It went as well as we not only had expected and planned, but I think as well as it could have,” Hagel said.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar said in a Monday statement that “this huge and vivid triumph requires from all Mujahidin to offer thanks to the Benevolent Creator who accepted the sincere sacrifices of our Mujahid nation and managed the release of these five renowned Mujahidin from the enemy’s clutch.”
“May Allah Almighty get, just like these five heads, all those oppressed prisoners released who are incarcerated in the path of liberating their country and serving their creed,” he said. “This huge accomplishment brings the glad tidings of liberation of the whole country and reassures us that our aspirations are on the verge of fulfillment, Insha-Allah.”