Joshua Boyle, his wife and 3 children left Pakistan on Friday after being held hostage by a Taliban linked group for 5 years.
2 Pakistani officials, who requested anonymity due to security reasons, reported the family has boarded a plane, the couple landed in a London, then Toronto Friday night.
Boyle and his wife, Caitlan Coleman to Central Asia and were captured near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at the time of their abduction at the hands of a Taliban linked terrorist group, the Haqqani network.
Coleman was pregnant at the time of their abduction and has delivered 3 children since.
The family of 5 was officially released Thursday morning. U.S. officials released a statement stating the Pakistan Army have “recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his U.S. national wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies.”
They were recovered from a vehicle following a raid by Pakistani Commandos. 5 members of the Haqqani network are reported to have been killed in this exchange.
Boyle’s aunt was ecstatic at the family’s release and told the media “After all the hopes of five years, all the prayers… this time, it’s actually happening”.
Boyle’s mother, Linda Boyle, spoke to media expressing her joy, “We got to hear his voice. It was amazing. He told us how much his children were looking forward meeting their grandparents,”
Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau stated they are “working hard” to get the Boyle family back home.
On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump released a statement praising Pakistan for its efforts in the family’s release.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland expressed profound relief over the family’s liberation. “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 added.
Joshua Boyle has strong connection with Omar Khadr, the former prisoners who won a human-rights lawsuit against the Canadian government and was awarded $10.5 million.
Boyle was the third husband to Zaynab Khadr, Omar’s older sister. Former Al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden attended her second wedding.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.