Congress kept in dark over prisoner swop due to Taleban death threat on soldier: Aide

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Congress was kept out of the loop regarding negotiations to free a United States soldier because his Taleban captors threatened to kill him if the news leaked, a Senate aide said Thursday.

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to US forces in Afghanistan last weekend in exchange for the transfer of five senior Taleban leaders held by the United States.

The swop was immediately criticised by lawmakers, in part because the White House did not give members of Congress the required 30 days notice before transferring detainees from Guantanamo.

"Senators were informed at the briefing yesterday that the US obtained credible information that, if anything about the swap became public, Bergdahl would be killed," a Senate aide told AFP.

On Wednesday, Obama administration officials briefed the Senate's 100 members, showing them a proof-of-life video made by Sgt Bergdahl's captors and providing details on the swap.