Haqqani captors killed child, raped wife, Canadian ex-hostage says

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After landing in Canada with his family Friday night, Canadian ex-hostage Joshua Boyle told reporters some frightening news about his family’s ordeal in Afghanistan.

He said the Haqqani network, which held him and his wife captive for five years in Afghanistan, had killed his infant daughter in captivity and raped his wife.

Boyle landed in Canada late Friday with his American wife and three young children.

Caitlan Coleman and Boyle were rescued Wednesday, five years after they had been abducted by the Taliban-linked Haqqani extremist network while in Afghanistan as part of a backpacking trip.

Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity.

Government officials said Pakistani forces carried out the rescue mission based on U.S. intelligence information.

The final leg of the family’s journey was an Air Canada flight Friday from London to Toronto.

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children arrived in Canada Friday night, returning to the West after being held captive by a Taliban-affiliated group for five years.

The family had left Pakistan on a commercial flight after Boyle reportedly balked at taking a U.S. plane out of Pakistan, fearing that his background could land him in the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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 U.S. Justice Department said neither Boyle nor Coleman is wanted for any federal crime.

The family landed in Toronto Friday night on an Air Canada flight from London. Coleman, wearing a tan-colored headscarf, sat in the aisle of the business class cabin. She nodded wordlessly when she confirmed her identity to a reporter on board the flight.

In the two seats next to her were her two elder children. In the seat beyond that was Boyle, with their youngest child in his lap. U.S. State Department officials were on the plane with them.

Boyle gave the Associated Press a handwritten statement expressing disagreement with U.S. foreign policy.

“God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination, and to allow that to stagnate, to pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organized injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege,” he wrote.

He nodded to one of the State Department officials and said, “Their interests are not my interests.”

He added that one of his children is in poor health and had to be force-fed by their Pakistani rescuers.

The family was able to leave from the plane with their escorts before the rest of the passengers. There was about a 5- to 10-minute delay before everyone else was allowed out.

Coleman, of Stewartstown, Pa., was rescued along with Boyle and their children on Thursday after their captors moved them across the border to Pakistan from Afghanistan. U.S. officials supplied the intelligence used to facilitate the release, Pakistan said.

Shortly before the family landed in Canada Friday night, President Trump tweeted that the U.S. was “starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders.”

“I want to thank them for their cooperation on many fronts,” Trump added.

U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of ignoring groups like the Haqqani network, which was holding the family. They call the Haqqani group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike ISIS, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

The Haqqani network had previously demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, a son of the founder of the group, in exchange for turning over the American-Canadian family. In one of the videos released by their captors, Boyle implored the Afghan government not to execute Taliban prisoners, or he and his wife would be killed.

Coleman and Boyle were kidnapped in October 2012 while on a backpacking trip that took them to Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. All three of their children were born in captivity.

U.S. officials have said that several other Americans are being held by militant groups in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

They include Kevin King, 60, a teacher at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who was abducted in August 2016, and Paul Overby, an author in his 70s who had traveled to the region several times but disappeared in eastern Afghanistan in mid-2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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American Caitlan Coleman, family freed from Afghanistan captors

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An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children — who had been held captive since 2012 by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network — were freed after an operation involving Pakistani forces, officials announced Thursday.

Caitlan Coleman, 32, was seven months pregnant when she and her husband, Josh Boyle, were abducted.

The operation that set Coleman, Boyle and their children free was undertaken by Pakistani forces based on actionable intelligence provided by U.S. authorities, according to a statement by the ISPR. U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and shared the location with Pakistani counterparts when the hostages shifted into Pakistani territory Wednesday.

President Trump appeared to hint at the news of Coleman’s release during a speech in Coleman’s home state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

“Something happened today, where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news,” Trump said. “And one of my generals came in. They said, ‘You know, I have to tell you, a year ago they would’ve never done that.’ It was a great sign of respect. You’ll probably be hearing about it over the next few days. But this is a country that did not respect us. This is a country that respects us now. The world is starting to respect us again, believe me.”

Coleman and Boyle were last seen in a hostage video in December 2016 pleading for their governments to intervene.

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, 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.

The announcement of the release comes a month after President Trump announced a new strategy to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying the Taliban and other militant groups would no longer find safe haven in Pakistan.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress last week Pakistan would no longer be a sanctuary for terrorism.

In the 2016 YouTube 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.”

Two young children appear in the video with them, and Coleman has told her family that she gave birth to two children in captivity. It was revealed Thursday that Coleman had a third child.

“Please don’t become the next Jimmy Carter,” Coleman says in the 2016 video, reading a prepared statement and making a plea to former President Barack Obama. “Just give the offenders something so they and you can save face so we can leave the region permanently.”

The video came to public attention through the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity online. SITE said it was dated Dec. 3.

“We are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their young children and call for their unconditional release,” Canadian Global Affairs spokesman Michael O’Shaughnessy said. The State Department also said at the time that it was reviewing the footage.

The Haqqani network has orchestrated a vast array of brutal attacks in Afghanistan in recent years, against both locals and the U.S. military, but unlike their Taliban associates, they are deemed to be more motivated by money than faith.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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