On Tuesday senior Taliban figures confirmed the Taliban released a video Monday night in which a Canadian-American family of hostages, including two children, appeared, reported Reuters. In the video, Canadian Joshua Boyle and U.S. citizen Caitlan Coleman plead to both U.S. and Canadian governments and President Barack Obama, as well as President-elect Donald Trump.
Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped by the Taliban while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012, and have remained hostages of the Haqqani network ever since. Coleman was pregnant with her first child at the time. In the video, which the 31-year-old Coleman says was taken Dec. 3, 2016, Coleman refers to the U.S. and Canada as she reads from a script: "We understand both sides hate us and are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems." She added, "But we can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy."
Coleman says her children have seen her “defiled." Later she directs herself to President Obama, saying: “Obama, your legacy in leaving office is probably important to you, and our lives and those of our children are to us. So please don’t become the next Jimmy Carter. Just give the offenders something so they and you can save face, and we can leave the region permanently.” Coleman explained that their captors want “money, power, friends.”
Two Afghanistan based senior Taliban figures told Reuters the video of Coleman-Boyle family was uploaded by “radical Islamist insurgents.” One figure said the video was from the Haqqani network, described by Reuters as a “close affiliate of the Afghan Taliban.” The figure also said the Haqqani network asked for the release of three of their senior members, including Sirajuddin Haqqani’s brother and uncle. Haqqani is deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban.