Parents of freed Afghanistan hostage angry at son-in-law
By JOSEPH A. GAMBARDELLO | The Philadelphia Inquirer | Published: October 13, 2017
PHILADELPHIA (Tribune News Service) — Freed hostage Caitlan Coleman’s father is questioning his Canadian son-in-law’s decision to take his pregnant wife hiking in Afghanistan and, once released after five years in captivity, refusing to fly home on an American military plane.
Coleman, her husband, Joshua Boyle, and the three children she bore in five years in captivity were rescued Wednesday when Pakistani forces, alerted by U.S. intelligence, ambushed a convoy of Islamic extremists transporting the hostages near the Afghan border.
In an interview with ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Jim Coleman, of Stewartstown, Pa., said he remained angry that Boyle took Caitlan into Afghanistan in 2012, where they were abducted by Islamic extremists affiliated with the Taliban.
“Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me, and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable,” he said.
The freed family, in the meantime, was reported to be en route to Toronto after Boyle refused to return to North America aboard a U.S. military plane.
That did not sit well with Jim Coleman.
“I don’t know what five years in captivity would do to somebody, but if I saw a U.S. aircraft and U.S. soldiers, I’d be running for it,” he said
CNN, quoting an unidentified senior U.S. official, said Boyle balked because he feared possible arrest on American soil.
Boyle previously had been married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in 2002 in a firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan. Khadr, who allegedly threw a grenade that killed an American medic, was 15 when he was taken prisoner.
But a Department of Justice spokesman told CNN that Boyle did not face arrest in the United States.
Boyle’s father, Patrick Boyle, said his son simply wanted to return straight home.
“He wants to be home,” the father told CNN from his home in Canada. “He couldn’t have made it more clear.”