- Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her husband Joshua Boyle, 34, were released on Wednesday
- The couple were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 when she was pregnant with their first child
- The pair were taken by the Haqqani network and have been held in Pakistan ever since
- On Wednesday, the Pakistani government facilitated their release in a joint effort with US officials
- Boyle – who was previously married to terror suspect Zaynab Khadr – is reportedly refusing to board a US plane
- He fears he will face persecution over his marriage to Khadr once he lands
- Trump and his officials have in the past accused Pakistan of fostering terror networks for too long
- He said the family’s release proved the country’s renewed respect for the US
President Trump commended Pakistani officials for facilitating the exchange and said it was symbolic of the country’s renewed relationship with the US.
‘Yesterday, the US Government working in conjunction with the Government of Pakistan, secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan
‘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.
‘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,’ he said.
Trump had criticized the country in the past for not doing enough to crack down on the Haqqanis. His administration has cranked up the pressure on the Pakistani government to do more in the global fight against terror.
On Wednesday, before the family’s release was confirmed, the president alluded to it during a speech in Coleman’s home state.
‘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. 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.”
In 2014, Coleman pleaded with President Barack Obama to bring her and her husband home. At the time, she made reference to their one child.
‘I am prisoner of the Taliban. I would ask that my family and my government do everything that they can to bring my husband, child and I to safety and freedom,’ she said.
Now They are Free, But…
A Canadian man who was rescued from his terrorist captors along with his American wife and their three children after spending five years as hostages refused to board a US military plane on Thursday over fears he will now face punishment over his first marriage to a known terror suspect.
Caitlan Coleman, 31, was given back to US commandos along with her husband Joshua Boyle, 34, and their three young children after being rescued by Pakistani special forces late on Wednesday night.
They were being transported from one location to another by their Haqqani-network captors when Pakistani forces ambushed their convoy and rescued them.
President Trump celebrated their release as a joint effort between US and Pakistani officials on Thursday.
However, Canadian officials say Boyle is refusing to get on a US military plane bound to bring the family back to America.
They say he fears he will be punished for his first marriage to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of Omar Khadr who spent eight years between 2002 and 2010 in Guantanamo Bay for war crimes.
Boyle, a devout Christian, and Khadr were married between 2009 and 2010. They grew close when he volunteered to be the family’s spokesman during the media row surrounding Omar’s detention.
A year after they separated, Boyle and Coleman – who have been friends since they were teenagers – got married.
In 2012, when she was five months pregnant, he took her to Afghanistan, a country he was ‘passionate’ about, and they were captured.