Caitlan Coleman and Family Released by Taliban-Linked Haqqani Network

  • An American woman and three children released by a Taliban-linked group are still in Pakistan after her Canadian husband declined to board a plane to the U.S., three American officials said Thursday.
  • The U.S. had a C-130 ready to fly the family out of Pakistan but the husband did not want the transportation, the American officials told NBC News.
  • The five family members were in the custody of workers at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, according to a U.S. official.
  • The family were held by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group that supports the Taliban, when the Pakistani military mounted what it called “an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies.”
  • The U.S. has long criticized Pakistan for not aggressively going after the Haqqani network, which is considered part of the Taliban.

Caitlan Coleman and her husband Joshua Boyle were kidnapped by the militants while hiking in Afghanistan in late 2012. They had three children while being held.

An American woman and three children released by a Taliban-linked group are still in Pakistan after her Canadian husband declined to board a plane to the U.S., three American officials said Thursday.

Caitlan Coleman, who is originally from Pennsylvania, and Canadian Joshua Boyle were kidnapped by the militants while hiking in Afghanistan in late 2012. Coleman was pregnant when she was captured, and the couple had three children while being held.

The U.S. had a C-130 ready to fly the family out of Pakistan but the husband did not want the transportation, the American officials told NBC News. It was not clear why they rejected the opportunity to immediately leave.

The five family members were in the custody of workers at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, according to a U.S. official.

FBI Director Chris Wray said “we could not be happier” about the release.

“It’s a great day. They’ve been held a long time,” he said.

The couple had pleaded for their release in propaganda videos released by their captors. In a video released in December, Coleman referred to “the Kafkaesque nightmare in which we find ourselves” and urged “governments on both sides” to reach a deal for their freedom. She then adds: “My children have seen their mother defiled.”

The family were held by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group that supports the Taliban, when the Pakistani military…

Caitlan Coleman and Family Released by Taliban-Linked Haqqani Network