Ex-hostage says husband’s Taliban sympathy led to 5-year captivity


The estranged wife of former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle says his sympathy for the Taliban led to their five years in captivity.

Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, told ABC News that Boyle’s sympathy is the reason they were in Afghanistan in the first place. Boyle initially claimed he and his wife were on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan when the couple was taken hostage by a Taliban-linked group in 2012.

“He believed that the Taliban in Afghanistan were misrepresented in the West,” Coleman said. “He believed he could get the real story of the Taliban, you know, talk to people that maybe wouldn’t talk to outside media, go places that nobody else could go.”

Coleman said it wasn’t until they were captured that she realized Boyle’s was a sympathizer.

“Suddenly, it’s like, he sort of dropped all pretense of being a pacifist, which is not to say that he ever expressed the desire to be militarily sympathetic,” Coleman said. “It’s like when we were no longer around westerners, he could sort of drop his neutrality.”

The couple had three children during their five years in captivity. The family was rescued by Pakistani forces in 2017.

Boyle, of Smith Falls, Ontario, was arrested in December of that year on charges he assaulted his wife and forced her to have sex during their captivity. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Prior to captivity, I did want to have a family with Josh, but during captivity, I was not I was not given a choice,” Coleman said. “I’m not saying that I physically struggled, but I am saying that I found relations with him pretty abhorrent, but I didn’t have a choice.”​​​​​​​

Boyle told ABC News in a 2017 interview that he was not a Taliban sympathizer, and that there was no right side in the conflict. His attorney refused to comment to ABC News on the allegations or any details of the couple’s captivity.

Coleman’s full interview can be seen on ABC News “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m.

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