Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle were captured by Taliban militants in Afghanistan in late 2012. Since then, the only clue to their well-being has been two undated videos, sent to the Canadian-American couple's families last year, where they ask the U.S. government to "do everything that they can" to bring them home. The videos were released on Wednesday by the families of the couple.
Here's more from the Associated Press, who obtained the videos through the families. They decided to make the videos public after the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as part of a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and the Taliban, in part because they were "disappointed" that the couple's freedom wasn't secured as part of those negotiations:
U.S. officials say the videos, in their low quality and lack of detail, bear some similarities to those the Taliban released about Bergdahl. They caution that while the videos establish beyond doubt that the couple were captured, they do not qualify as proof of life since there's no mention of current events that could help establish the time.
Coleman was pregnant at the time of their capture. In the video, Coleman refers to her child, who is not shown on camera. The child would be about 18 months old today.
The families have no ransom demands or any other indications from the Taliban about why the couple was captured. As the AP notes, it's presumed that the fact that they were Westerners walking around a dangerous part of Afghanistan might have been enough. The pair were on an international, adventure-seeking trip that was due to end in December of 2012, before Coleman's due date. Their last contacts with their families were in October of that year.
The two videos are dated to May and August of 2013, and were obtained by the family in September of last year. But as the AP notes, there's no other information to authenticate the date of the videos, nor is there any indication of their precise location. The families have not heard from the contact who passed along the videos for several months. In what one U.S. official called a "horrible coincidence," Boyle's previous wife was the sister of a militant held at Guantanamo Bay for a decade.
Read the full story at the Associated Press.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.