By Vincent Verdile
Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, along with their three children, were rescued from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network by Pakistani forces on October 12, according to CNN. After a phone call with his son, Boyle’s father Patrick relayed to CNN that all five captors were killed in a firefight, while Joshua suffered from shrapnel wounds.
According to The Guardian, the raid was possible due to American intelligence provided to Pakistan. Shortly before his departure from Pakistan, disclosed by a senior official through CNN, Boyle allegedly refused to board an American plane fearing his arrest. He and his family landed safely in Toronto, Canada on the night of October 13. Their three children, all born in captivity, were left with the absence of a fourth sibling. During a brief statement by Boyle at the airport, he claimed their captors ordered the murder of his and Coleman’s fourth child.
In addition to denouncing the Haqqani Network for their wrongdoing, Boyle believed their captors were “not guided by Islam” and “undoubtedly pagans.” He had previously been married to Zaynab Khadr, an outspoken defender of the September 11 attacks, and the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen held at Guantanamo Bay, reported by the NY Times.
While studying in school he became fascinated with Islam, and acted as an advocate for Khadr’s release, resulting in his marriage with Zaynab Khadr. In July 2017, the Canadian government officially apologized for detaining Omar Khadr, and awarded him $8.1 million, according to the NY Times. The detainment was found to violate Canadian law as Khadr was only 15 years of age when he used a grenade that blinded a Marine.
Caitlan Coleman, an American citizen, was pregnant during her trip with Boyle to Afghanistan. Although still not entirely clear, Boyle has stated that they were there to help the local Taliban-controlled populations with humanitarian relief when they were kidnapped, according to the NY Times.
Less than a week following their rescue, Coleman was rushed to the hospital, according to the New York Post. During her captivity, she was allegedly raped, but Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, denied the allegations. Furthermore, he claimed the death of her fourth child was due to a lack of “doctors and medication.”
This rescue comes days after President Trump announced good news would be coming from a “country that totally disrespects the United States.” Following the successful release of the family, President Trump praised the Pakistani government for “working very hard,” and finally believes “Pakistan is starting to respect the United States again.”
According to the India Times, President Trump believes he is developing a “real relationship” with Pakistan. This comes weeks after speaking firmly against the Middle Eastern government, stating they had been taking “tremendous advantage” over the United States. Despite there still being American hostages within Taliban controlled territory, Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds “deep gratitude” for getting Coleman and her family home.