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Caitlan Coleman and Family Freed From Afghan Captors After 5 Yrs



Caitlan Coleman, 32, is an American who was abducted five years ago along with her Canadian husband, Josh Boyle, by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in Afghanistan. She was just freed with her family after an operation involving Pakistani forces. President Trump has been putting pressure on Pakistani forces to curb terrorism in that region and it seems to be working. Caitlan was seven months pregnant when they were taken hostage. They now have three little children.

The operation was taken on by Pakistani forces based on actionable intelligence provided by US authorities. They have been tracking the hostages and shared the location with Pakistani counterparts when the hostages shifted into Pakistani territory Wednesday. President Trump seemed to hint at the release of the captives when he spoke 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. Caitlan begged Obama to not become another Jimmy Carter. The couple vanished after traveling in the summer of 2012 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 Pakistani military released a statement that said U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and discovered they had come into Pakistan on Oct. 11 through its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. “All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the military stated. This announcement comes just a month after President Trump announced a new strategy to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan. He proclaimed that the Taliban and other militant groups would no longer find a safe haven in Pakistan.

In a 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 little children appear in the video with them. Caitlan gave birth to three children in captivity. “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 SITE Intelligence Group released the video. They monitor extremist activity online. SITE said it was dated Dec. 3. In that interview with Circa News in 2016, Jim Coleman issued a plea to top Taliban commanders to be “kind and merciful” and let the young couple go. “As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our beautiful grandchildren,” Jim Coleman said. “Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us, and bring peace to their families.” Today, their wish was granted and they are on their way home. Today is a good day.

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