The Taliban has released a video of an alleged U.S. military service dog, but a U.S. official said Thursday the canine actually belong to the British.
This is perhaps the first time terrorists have used a dog as a prisoner of war.
A Twitter account associated with Taliban propaganda posted a link to the video, which shows a Belgian Malinois surrounded by a group of Taliban fighters.
Despite looking a little confused, the dog wags his tail in the video.
“Allah gave victory to the mujahideen!” one of the fighters says. “Down with them, down with their spies!”
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the dog was captured during an extensive firefight in the Alin Nigar district of the Laghman province in late December.
An anonymous U.S. military official told CNN the dog is likely a British working dog that went missing during a mission in eastern Afghanistan. They presume the dog was let off his leash during a search and was taken by insurgents.
“I don’t remember seeing a dog used as a hostage,” said Rita Katz, founder of SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks and studies insurgent propaganda.
Katz told the Washington Post the only time she remembers dogs being used in propaganda was when Iraq insurgents proposed using them as suicide bombers.
Kevin Dredden, a former Air Force dog handler and Afghanistan veteran, says only one thing is for certain.
“I know for sure the handler is devastated,” he said.
Military dogs are given ranks, which appear on their body armor, to ensure humans treat them with deference.