The daring plan to bring home an American woman and her family from Afghanistan, where they were held captive by a Taliban-affiliated group, appeared to hit a snag Thursday, with officials telling Fox News
the woman's husband is refusing to board a plane out of the Middle East.
Caitlan Coleman, 32, was seven months pregnant when she and her husband, Josh Boyle, were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Haqqani network. The couple and their three children -- all of whom were born in captivity -- were freed Thursday in a "negotiated release."
The family has "been essentially living in a hole for 5 years," White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters Thursday.
But Boyle is refusing to board an American military plane in Pakistan waiting to take them home, fearing he'll be arrested, a U.S. official said. Some officials say Roberts is fearful of perhaps being sent to Guantanamo Bay, based off his background.
Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in 2002 in a firefight at an Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.
The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 in 2002 when he tossed a grenade in a firefight that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a special forces medic.Other officials had discounted any link between that background and Boyle's capture by the Haqqani network, with one describing it to The Associated Press in 2014 as a "horrible coincidence."
The family was still in Pakistan Thursday afternoon and details of their departure are being worked out, a source told Fox News.
The Pakistani military confirmed the release and said the family was "being repatriated to the country of their origin."The couple has told U.S. officials that they wanted to fly commercially to Canada, according to an official who spoke to The Associated Press.
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.