Canadian ex-hostage Joshua Boyle says the Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter in captivity and raped his wife. Boyle gave a statement after landing in Canada late Friday 13 October with his American wife and three young children.
Caitlan Coleman and Boyle were rescued Wednesday 11 October, five years after they had been abducted by a Taliban-linked extremist network while in Afghanistan as part of a backpacking trip. Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity.
Government officials said Pakistani forces carried out the rescue mission based on US intelligence information. The final leg of the family's journey was an Air Canada flight Friday from London to Toronto.
They landed in Canada with their three young children. Boyle provided a written statement to The Associated Press, saying: "God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination."
Coleman's parents said they are elated, but also angry at their son-in law for taking their daughter to Afghanistan. "Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me, and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable," her father, Jim, told ABC News.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Canada's allies around the globe for their work in achieving a positive resolution to the five-year hostage situation. Trudeau, speaking during a visit to Mexico, asked that the family's privacy be respected.
The High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada said Pakistani commandos carried out the raid and there was a shootout before they safely rescued the hostages from a van. He said they don't know how many of the suspects were killed, but one or two escaped and there is a search for them.
Exactly why the couple chose to enter Afghanistan isn't clear.
Sarah Flood, a hometown friend of Coleman's, told the York Daily Record that Afghanistan wasn't on the couple's original itinerary. Jim Coleman, Caitlan Coleman's father, told the newspaper in 2014 that while they were in central Asia, the couple met people who spoke highly of Afghanistan.
A fellow traveller who met the couple in a hostel in Kyrgyzstan wrote on his blog that Boyle had been talking up the idea of traveling to Afghanistan, saying it was a place for true explorers and the window to visit was closing since it would only get less secure once US forces withdrew.
Members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, a US-designated terrorist organization, kidnapped the couple near Kabul. The network is believed to command thousands of fighters. Both US and Afghan intelligence agencies say Pakistan's intelligence network has allowed the Haqqanis to live freely for decades in Pakistan's tribal regions, a claim Islamabad denies.
The network was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a one-time ally of the United States who achieved fame fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and who developed close ties to the slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. After his death, his son Sirajuddin Haqqani took over.
The elder Haqqani aligned his group with the Taliban after the insurgents were driven from power in the US-led invasion that followed the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Caitlin Coleman grew up a devout Catholic in tiny Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. Joshua Boyle attended a Mennonite school in Canada. The two, described as well-meaning but naive adventurers, were introduced by a friend and started their relationship online.
Boyle was once married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a late senior al-Qaeda financier.
Her father, Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy. Khadr's Egyptian-born father was killed in 2003 when a Pakistani military helicopter shelled the house where he was staying with senior al-Qaeda operatives.
The Canadian-born Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops following a firefight at a suspected al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of an American special forces medic, US Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer.
Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken to Guantanamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentenced to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody.
Boyle refused to get on a US transport plane that was prepared to take him and his family out of Pakistan. A US official said Boyle was nervous about being in "custody" given his background.