A Canadian held hostage by a Taliban-linked group wants to return home, his father said Thursday, even though he declined to board a military plane bound for the US.
Josh Boyle, captured five years ago with his American wife Caitlin Coleman by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, was freed Thursday.
But Boyle refused to board the US plane over concerns that he could face arrest, a senior US official said.
Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Kadhr, a Canadian imprisoned for 10 years at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after fighting US troops in Afghanistan.
The US official said there are some questions surrounding Boyle’s past, but the Department of Justice said he did not face arrest. “Coleman and Boyle are not charged with any federal crime and, as such, we do not seek their arrest,” spokesman| Wyn Hornbuckle said.
“He wants to be home,” Patrick Boyle told CNN from his home in Canada. “He couldn’t have made it more clear.”
Boyle’s mother said he also told her he planned to return. “His last words were, ‘I’ll see you in a couple days, Mom,” Linda Boyle said.
Coleman was pregnant at the time of their kidnapping and had two more children in captivity.
Patrick Boyle said his son told him he wanted to cooperate with officials to ensure his family’s captors were brought to justice “for the horrendous things they did to his wife.”
“Josh is anxious to provide the evidence needed to bring the captors to justice, as I said, for what they did to his wife, which is much more horrendous than she described in the video,” Patrick Boyle said, referencing footage posted online of the imprisoned family.
Coleman and Boyle were held hostage by the Haqqani Network for five years after their kidnapping in 2012. The Pakistani Army announced it had freed the couple along with their three children — all of whom were born in captivity.
US officials said they shared intelligence with Pakistan when the family was moved into the country, and the Trump administration confirmed the news on Thursday that they had been freed.
Details about how they were freed were not immediately clear.
“The five of them being in the back of a car being transferred and a car being stopped, surrounded by, Josh described, 35 Pakistani Army officials,” Patrick Boyle said. “A firefight breaking out, that all five captors had been killed by the Pakistani Army, and all five of our Boyles are safe and okay. Josh said he was hit with some shrapnel and our governments have confirmed that he was damaged in the leg. That’s all we know right now about that.”
Boyle said the sudden turn of events was nothing short of miraculous.
“Cait, in her last video said if all five of them make it out, it’s going to be a miracle,” Boyle said. “And we’re living a miracle.”