Husband Freed From Taliban Captivity Refuses to Board Plane to US
An American woman and her family were freed from the captivity of a Taliban-affiliated group in the Middle East but her husband refused to board a plane to the United States.
The family was still in Pakistan as of writing on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 12, as details of their departure were still being worked out, an unnamed source told Fox News.
The 32-year-old mother was seven months pregnant when she and her husband, Josh Boyle, were abducted in Afghanistan back in 2012 by the Haqqani network.
The couple and their three children, all born in captivity, were freed Thursday, Oct. 12, in a “negotiated release,” an official told Fox News.
The husband is refusing to board an American military plane in Pakistan that will take them home, for fear that he will be arrested, a U.S official said.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters Thursday that the family has “been essentially living in a hole for 5 years.”
The family was freed by a joint collaboration of U.S. intelligence and Pakistani security forces nearly five years since they were first taken as hostages, CNN reported.
The Pakistani Army said in a statement that U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and sharing intelligence with Pakistan when the family was first moved to the country. U.S. officials also confirmed there was intelligence about their location in recent days that was shared with the Pakistanis, according to CNN.
Boyle’s previous marriage was with the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in 2002 firefight at an al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan, Fox News reported.
Khadr was only 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.
Because of this history, one U.S. official said that Boyle was nervous about being in “custody.”
But other officials said there was no link between Boyle’s background and his capture by the Haqqani network, one official told The Associated Press in 2014 that it was a “horrible coincidence.”
Back in 2016, a video was released showing Boyle and Coleman begging for their governments to intervene on their behalf.
In an official statement from the White House on Oct. 12, President Donald Trump announced the release.
“Yesterday, the United States government, working in conjunction with the Government of Pakistan, secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan,” he said in the statement.
“Today they are free. This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” the statement said. “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.”