A Canadian ex-hostage revealed members of an Afghan terrorist group raped his American wife and killed his infant daughter during the five years they were held captive.
Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their three children landed in Toronto late Friday night after they were rescued in a joint effort between the U.S. and Pakistan this week.
The couple was kidnapped in 2012 while they were hiking in Afghanistan, and Coleman, who is from Pennsylvania, went on to have four children in captivity.
Boyle, who revealed some of the horrors they suffered at the hands of the Haqqani network, credited God for giving his family “unparalleled resilience and determination.”
In this image from video released by Taliban Media in December 2016, Caitlan Coleman talks in the video while her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle holds their two children.
(Taliban Media via AP)
Boyle addressed reporters at the airport and said, “The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network’s kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.”
The 34-year-old said a guard raped his wife with the help of his superiors and asked the Afghan government to bring them to justice.
Earlier, Boyle handed a cryptic handwritten statement to the Associated Press.
“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 also nodded to one of the State Department officials on the plane and said, “Their interests are not my interests.”
Coleman, on the other hand, wore a tan-colored headscarf and nodded silently to she confirm her identity to a reporter aboard the flight to Toronto.
Joshua Boyle told reporters at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Friday members of an Afghan terrorist group raped his American wife and killed his infant daughter when they were in captivity.
(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
The Canadian government issued a statement that read, “Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones.”
“Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Boyle’s case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that they have returned.”
The couple was captured while hiking in Afghanistan five years ago.
Coleman was pregnant when she and Boyle were kidnapped while hiking in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, which is overrun with militant groups.
She had the baby, along with three more children, in the custody of the Taliban-linked extremist network, which the U.S. deemed a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2012.
The family was “essentially living in a hole for five years,” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters Thursday.
Pakistani officials conducted a dangerous raid late Wednesday after receiving a tip from U.S. intelligence, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria.
Boyle told his parents that he and his family were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the back of their captors’ car.
One of the captors yelled “kill the hostage” during the ensuing shootout, but Boyle managed to emerge with only a shrapnel wound, his family said.
Linda and Patrick Boyle, parents of Joshua Boyle, speak with the media outside their home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, on Thursday.
(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
But the 34-year-old Ontario native initially declined to get on a U.S. military plane reportedly headed for Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Boyle’s father said his son did not want to board the plane because the family wanted to return directly to North America.
Another U.S. official said Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given his past marriage to the sister of Omar Kadhr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee with suspected ties to al-Qaeda.
While the family eventually left Islamabad on Friday, Boyle’s initial refusal, along with his self-characterization as a pilgrim and his previous marriage, has raised questions as to why he was in Afghanistan in 2012.
A former U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Post he couldn’t say if Boyle ever had ties to al-Qaeda, adding, “He was never a fighter on the battlefield. But my belief is that he clearly was interested in getting into it.”
But other U.S. officials discounted any link between Boyle’s previous marriage and his capture, with one official describing it in 2014 as a “horrible coincidence.”
The U.S. Justice Department said neither Boyle nor Coleman is wanted for any federal crime.
With News Wire Services