Caitlan Coleman, American Woman Released With Her Family In Pakistan: Who Is She?

The rescue operation was based on a tip by the U.S. government.

American Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children were all released last week in Pakistan, after spending five years held by the militant Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban. 

President Donald Trump said in a statement that the U.S. and Pakistani governments worked together and "secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan." 

"Today they are free,” Trump said of the family, calling it “a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan.”

What do we know about Caitlan Coleman and her family? 

The 32-year-old is a native of York County, Pa., reported.

Coleman and her husband were abducted in 2012 while traveling in Afghanistan. Coleman was pregnant at the time, and their children were born in captivity.

Boyle told the AP that their children are now 4, 2 and "somewhere around 6 months."

Boyle said after landing at Toronto's airport that the Taliban-linked Haqqani network killed their infant daughter and raped his wife during the years they were held. In an email exchange with the AP, Boyle did not respond to a question about the fourth child. The Taliban said in a statement on Sunday that it was a miscarriage.

Boyle, a former call center worker, said in an earlier statement that he had gone to Afghanistan with his pregnant wife to help villagers "who live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help."

He was once briefly married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a senior Al Qaeda financier who had contacts with Usama bin Laden.

Coleman and Boyle were most recently seen in video from December 2016.

“Please don’t become the next Jimmy Carter,” Coleman said to then-President Barack Obama in the clip while reading a statement. “Just give the offenders something so they and you can save face so we can leave the region permanently.”

"My children have seen their mother defiled," Coleman said in the clip. 


What has the reaction to the family's release been? 

"It's a great day. They've been held a long time," FBI Director Christopher Wray said, according to NBC

"I applaud the innumerable lines of effort from across the U.S. Government," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

Tillerson said he is "particularly proud of" U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, along with "his Mission Islamabad team for their engagement with Pakistan. These efforts reflect the best of what America can accomplish."

Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said in a statement that her government is greatly relieved to learn that after five years of being held hostage, the family has been released and is safe.

She said that Canada has been engaged with the governments of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She thanked those countries for helping with the release. 

"Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a horrible ordeal over the past five years. We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey," she said. 

The operation took place as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with President Trump in Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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