Friday, October 13, 2017

Released Taliban abductees' story bizarre and suspicious

The release of Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman and their family from captivity under Taliban-affiliated militants in Afghanistan yesterday should be an unequivocally joyous occasion. But the more I read about it, and the circumstances and timeline behind it all, the more disturbing and bizarre it appears.
The Canadian man and his American wife, who was several months pregnant at the time, were wandering around the wilds of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan over a period of months in the summer of 2012, for reasons that are not at all apparent. Adventure tourism? Cultural curiosity? Instagram-worthy honeymoon (they were just-married)? Stan-fetish? And why would you do that when heavily pregnant with your first child?
Anyway, in October 2012, or thereabouts, the couple were abducted by the notorious Taliban-connected Haqqani network in the remote mountains of Wardak Province in eastern Afghanistan. This is really not on the back-packing trail. It has been under de facto Taliban control since 2008, and even the Afghanistan Ministry of the Interior has flagged the whole province as "High Risk". It's not even pretty. It seems to me that they must have been deliberately looking for Taliban experiences to even be there.
Ms. Coleman delivered her baby soon after being captured. Not much you can do about that. But... they then go on to have two more children while in captivity, in 2015 and 2017. Again, who would do that? Are they just criminally irresponsible? Or not very bright?
I just feel that there is a lot more to this story that we are not being told. So many of the circumstances seem peculiar, suspicious or downright bizarre.

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