Chilling new video released by the Taliban shows a York County woman who is believed to have given birth twice while in captivity, but the State Department is still evaluating the authenticity of the film.
Caitlin Coleman, of York County outside Philadelphia, and Canadian husband Joshua Boyle are believed to have been taken prisoner while visiting Afghanistan as tourists in 2012.
“Because of their fear they are willing to kill us, to kill women, to kill children, to kill whomever in order to get these policies reversed or to take revenge,” a woman identified in Coleman says in video from the Taliban which the State Department just released.
Coleman begs the U.S. government to try to intervene and step up diplomatic pressure on the Taliban to save their lives in the video.
“I ask if my government can do anything to change the policies of the Afghan government, to stop their policy of executing men before these men start executing their prisoners, their family that they are holding,” Coleman says before the video cuts out.
Coleman was reportedly pregnant when she was kidnapped, according to the Associated Press. She is believed to have given birth twice in captivity. The couple is believed to be held in western tribal areas of Pakistan that are controlled by the Taliban's Haqqani network, according to ABC News.
The state department stressed that the video’s validity is still being examined.
Past AP reports about the family describe Coleman and Boyle as meeting on the internet in 2011 and then spending months traveling in Latin America and living with indigenous Guatemalans. Though Coleman was pregnant, the couple wanted a second holiday adventure traveling through Central Asia and former Russian provinces — at the time they stopped making contact with their families in 2012, according to the Daily Beast. Shortly afterward, the couple’s bank accounts were emptied.
Boyle’s ex-wife was the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was detained for a decade in Guantanamo Bay after being arrested during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan at age 16. Khadr was reportedly brought to the country to engage in jihad by his father, a radical.
During his relationship with the sister, Zainab Khadr, Boyle assisted her in speaking out about her brother’s detainment, organized a hunger strike and acted as family spokesman to media, according to Buzzfeed. The Khadr family was rumored to have ties with Osama bin Laden, who may have attended one of Khadr’s previous weddings.
Boyle had also converted to or was converting to Islam prior to the kidnapping, GlobalNews reported.
A Taliban spokesman told the AP that the video was recorded in 2015.