It may be the first time a canine is used in a prisoner of war video.
As The Washington Post reports, a Twitter account from a user who normally distributes Taliban propaganda posted a video this week that allegedly shows a sad-looking American military dog chained by a group of Taliban fighters.
The BBC says the men in the video claim the dog came to their camp after it was raided by U.S. forces. The dog is wearing a vest, and the men say it was outfitted with a GPS device and a flashlight. The dog, the men say, was was given the rank of colonel.
“Allah gave victory to the Mujahedeen!” one of the fighters exclaims, according to the Post. “Down with them, down with their spies!”
The Pentagon confirmed to the Post that “the force lost a military working dog during an operation in December.” The newspaper adds:
“Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, said officials could think of no prior instance in which a military working dog had been taken captive. …
“The video caught the attention of analysts at Site Intelligence Group, which tracks and studies insurgent propaganda. Founder Rita Katz said she could not recall anything like it.
” ‘I don’t remember seeing a dog used as a hostage,’ she said after checking her database. The only time canines were featured in insurgent propaganda, Katz said, was in Iraq, when insurgents once proposed using the mutts as unsuspecting suicide bombers.”
The dog in the video looks like a Malinois, a breed often used by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The BBC reports that “dogs are considered unclean by Afghans, and their use by international forces in house searches has been controversial.”
Obviously, the dog’s future is uncertain.