On Thursday, in a totally unexpected and stunning move, the Taliban freed an American family of five who had been kept in captivity by the terrorist group since 2012. Immediately following this news, one of President Donald Trump’s generals walked into his office and dropped an 8-word bombshell which explained everything.
Caitlan Coleman, 32, was seven months pregnant when she and her Canadian husband, Josh Boyle, were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-connected Haqqani network. The two vanished after setting off in the summer of 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Caitlan ultimately gave birth to three children in captivity.
However, on Thursday, thanks to better global relations established by President Trump, the family of five was freed in a “negotiated release.”
The operation that set Coleman, Boyle and their children free remains somewhat mysterious. Pakistan’s armed forces said in a statement an operation was undertaken by Pakistani forces based on actionable intelligence provided by U.S. authorities. U.S. intelligence agencies had reportedly been tracking the hostages and shared the location with Pakistani counterparts when the hostages shifted into Pakistani territory Wednesday.
But a source told Fox News that U.S. officials had been working on the release for a long time and had been placing pressure on the Pakistani government — the Haqqani network has ties to Pakistan’s intelligence services. The U.S., however, did not pay for the hostage release and no other hostages were released in a quid-pro-quo, sources said. [Source: Fox News]
“Today they are free. This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan,” President Trump said in a statement Thursday, according to NPR. “The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” he continued.
“Something happened today, where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news,” said Trump. “And one of my generals came in. They said, ‘You know, I have to tell you, a year ago they would’ve never done that.’ It was a great sign of respect. You’ll probably be hearing about it over the next few days. But this is a country that did not respect us. This is a country that respects us now. The world is starting to respect us again, believe me.”
News of this family’s release comes just a month after President Trump announced a new strategy to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying the Taliban and other militant groups would no longer find safe haven in Pakistan. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress last week that Pakistan would no longer be a sanctuary for terrorism. “I applaud the innumerable lines of effort from across the U.S. government,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday in reaction to the family’s release.
This family was captured under former President Barack Obama’s watch, and he did absolutely nothing to secure their release, leaving them to rot in captivity over the years. However, they will surely be forever thankful for the efforts of President Donald Trump, who has gone leaps and bounds towards putting America back on top when it comes to our diplomatic relations all over the world.