American born Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle was kidnapped in 2012. At the time they were traveling as tourists in Afghanistan. The couple was taken hostage by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network.
The couple and their three children have been freed from captivity by the Pakistani security forces, nearly five years after being taken hostage by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network in Afghanistan.
The initial news of the release came from a Pakistani Army statement which was later confirmed by U.S. officials.
At the time the couple was seized in 2012, Coleman was pregnant with their first child. Since then the couple has had two more children, all born and raised in captivity.
The Pakistani Army made a statement saying they had received intelligence from the U.S.
In the statement, the Army said, “The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan’s continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy.”
The Army added that no exchanges had been made to obtain the release.
The U.S. has confirmed that while the prompt release of prisoners was surprising, there was no evidence that any kind of prisoner trade had been made.
Taking the circumstances into account, the U.S. is calling the Pakistani operation a “transfer of custody”.
In the initial hours since their release the family was taken to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. There the couple was put in touch with the embassies of their respective nations.
Following the successful rescue a spokesman for the Department of Justice stated that the Department had focused its effort on the recovery.
He added that the couple was not charged with any federal crime and that the Department did not “seek their arrest”. Despite this statement, Boyle’s parents have stated that he is wary of entering the U.S
Boyle was earlier married to the sister of Omar Kadhr, a Canadian citizen who served a 10 year sentence in Guantanamo Bay. The arrest was made after Khadr was caught fighting the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Thus, despite the statement released by the Department of Justice, Boyle is perhaps wise to avoid a dalliance with the U.S.