"We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by phone around Sept. 10. "We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him."
Mujahid made the same threat in an earlier interview with Agence France Presse, saying the Taliban had a "high-value plan" to get the prince. "It is not important for us to kidnap him," he said. "We will target him and we will kill him."
Harry qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot in February after completing a rigorous 18-month training program in the United Kingdom and United States that left him and his fellow trainees, "up to the challenge of operating one the of the most sophisticated attack helicopters in the world," according to a statement from Britain’s Defense Ministry.
The Sun broke news last January that the 18-month training program included Harry, who first entered the military in 2005, being hooded and threatened in intense hostage training to prepare him for a possible return to Afghanistan.
Harry, the third in line to the throne, is the first British royal to complete that level of intense training, according to the Sun. His current tour of duty in Afghanistan will make him one of the most decorated Royals in history.
After completing his U.K. and U.S.-based training, in February, Prince Harry was named as the best front-seat pilot, or co-pilot gunner, from his class of more than 20 fellow Apache helicopter pilots. Harry’s award was one of only two given at the end of the training course and marked the student whose "overall performance during the course is assessed as the best amongst their peer group," the ministry noted.