In private meetings, U.S. military officials based in Afghanistan have insisted that their soldier is still inside Afghanistan. "They want to think he's in Afghanistan," said an American involved in the search efforts.
But Bergdahl's location was identified in field reports from people operating in Pakistan's tribal areas. Bergdahl was recently seen at a Sangeen training camp, just inside Pakistan, according to one of those involved in his search.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News' Martha Raddatz that she is not allowed to talk about where Bergdahl might be.
The U.S. military has had a succession of efforts to locate the missing soldier and free him. Initially, a reward of $25,000 for location tips was offered to Afghans in the eastern portions of the region from which he disappeared. According to a source involved in the effort, a large number of calls flooded, and overwhelmed U.S. military efforts.
Complicating the search is determining who, if anyone, Mullah Sangeen works for. In the past, he has associated with the Haqqani network, the largest and most powerful insurgent group in eastern Afghanistan. The Haqqani network is lead by Siraj Haqqani, who has $5M bounty on his head for terrorist and insurgent activities against foreign forces in Afghanistan. But Haqqani however, is not technically part of the Taliban, who aligned with fugitive leader Mullah Omar.
"I am not sure if Mullah Sangeen is a hardcore Siraj Haqqani group member," says an Afghan intelligence officer in the province where Pfc. Bergdahl was captured. "However, Siraj is the boss. Let's hope the solider is still with Sangeen's people because you can [negotiate] with him."
Paktika province is largely under Haqqani control. Two Taliban spokesman have denied holding or capturing the soldier, suggesting that Sangeen acted alone or in concert with Haqqani. Siraj Haqqani is believed to be responsible for the kidnap of New York Times reporter David Rohde, who escaped last month from Pakistan after seven months of captivity.
The war in Afghanistan has escalated in recent months, as the U.S. has surged troops and conducted more operations. July has already become the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the war began in 2001.