In 2012, an American woman, Caitlan Coleman, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped by the Taliban. The couple was hiking in Afghanistan when they were suddenly abducted.
Now, exactly five years later, the family has reportedly been freed. 31-year-old Caitlan and 34-year-old Joshua had two children while in Taliban captivity. According to ABC News, the entire family was freed in an exchange between the Pakistani military and U.S. commandos in a secret operation.
Before they were kidnapped, Joshua’s parents had heard from their son on October 8, 2012. He messaged them from an Internet cafe and said that they were in an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.
Throughout their captivity, the couple was able to communicate with their families a couple of times via letters and videos. The couple would talk about their ever-fading hope and would ask for any sort of deal to be made on their behalf.
The couple was last seen in a hostage video in December 2016. In the video, the couple pleaded for their respective governments to intervene on their behalf.
In the video, Coleman talked about the “Kafkaesque nightmare in which we find ourselves” and she urged “governments on both sides” to reach a deal. Coleman was 7 months pregnant when she was originally abducted, and she revealed that she had given birth to two children since being in captivity.
The captor network that kidnapped the family was believed to have been a part of the al-Quada-associated Afghan Haqqani Network. This network has direct ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. Because of that, this release is being attributed to President Trump’s announcement about a new strategy with how to deal with Pakistan, though the evidence is not yet clear on the correlation.
President Trump hinted at the family’s release during a speech in Pennsylvania.
He said, “America is being respected again. Something happened today, where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news. 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," he continued. "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."
Please be praying for this family as they hopefully are beginning their journey home. Share your prayers on Facebook. For more news, read our latest article about the NFL legend who lost his home in the California wildfires.