Caitlan Coleman and Josh Boyle were abducted in Afghanistan by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network back in 2012. They have three children, all of whom were born in captivity.
The family has finally been freed from their five-year nightmare, and is now in Pakistan while plans are underway to take them home by plane. However, Fox News reports, the husband Boyle doesn’t want to return to the United States, and is requesting that the family be delivered to Canada instead.
According to Global News, Boyle is a Canadian citizen while Coleman was born in the United States, but the report doesn’t make clear whether the family had settled in Canada prior to their ordeal, having married in 2011, not long before the trip that ended in their abduction. According to the White House, the United States is open to their request to be taken to Canada instead.
First, some background on the family’s horrible plight:
The two vanished after setting off in the summer of 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan.
Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, had previously last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an Internet cafe in what Josh described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan […]
In [a] 2016 YouTube [hostage] video, Coleman refers to “the Kafkaesque nightmare in which we find ourselves” and urges “governments on both sides” to reach a deal for their freedom. She then adds: “My children have seen their mother defiled.”
And the circumstances of their release:
Pakistan’s armed forces said in a statement an operation was undertaken by Pakistani forces based on actionable intelligence provided by U.S. authorities. U.S. intelligence agencies had reportedly been tracking the hostages and shared the location with Pakistani counterparts when the hostages shifted into Pakistani territory Wednesday.
But a source told Fox News that U.S. officials had been working on the release for a long time and had been placing pressure on the Pakistani government — the Haqqani network has ties to Pakistan’s intelligence services. The U.S., however, did not pay for the hostage release and no other hostages were released in a quid-pro-quo, sources said.
So why don’t they want to come home?
Boyle is refusing to board an American military plane in Pakistan waiting to take them home, fearing he’ll be arrested, a U.S. official said. Some officials say Roberts is fearful of perhaps being sent to Guantanamo Bay, based off his background.
Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in 2002 in a firefight at an Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.
The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 in 2002 when he tossed a grenade in a firefight that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a special forces medic.
Based on the information Fox presents, it sounds like Boyle’s connection to Khadr is worth looking into, but not enough that the feds would put him in Gitmo. However, while his fear may seem paranoid, it’s worth considering the propaganda his captors spent years feeding his family about what the Great Satan USA is supposedly capable of.
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