The puzzling case of a former Taliban hostage charged with sex assault

The puzzling case of a former Taliban hostage charged with sex assault

“There are a lot of holes in his story,” said Phil Gurski, an Ottawa-based security consultant who used to work for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the country’s national intelligence agency. There are legitimate questions that need to be answered.” In October 2012, Boyle and his heavily pregnant wife embarked on a backpacking trip through Ghazni province, one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan and the stronghold of the Haqqani network, a radical Jihadist group tied to both al Qaeda and the Taliban. He claims to have edited every Wikipedia entry on radical Islam. Before marrying Coleman in 2011, Boyle was married to Omar’s outspoken sister, Zaynab Khadr. But Boyle and his wife, who was seven months pregnant by the time they crossed into Afghanistan, headed to the most dangerous region in the south where the Taliban and its affiliated terrorist groups often worked with the shady backing of Pakistani intelligence forces. The group also denied that its members raped Coleman or forced her to have a miscarriage. In an interview with Maclean’s magazine, a Canadian weekly, a reporter noted that he refused to leave the room while his wife was speaking with a reporter. “Check with me before you say any of that on the recording,” Macleans reported that Boyle told her. After videos emerged of the family in captivity in 2013 and in 2016, the Coleman family worked quietly through diplomatic and military channels to secure their daughter’s freedom. He is also charged with one count of public mischief in misleading a police officer into believing “that someone was suicidal and missing, causing the officer to start an investigation, and thereby diverting suspicion away from Boyle.” There are few details of the alleged offences, but court documents suggest there are two alleged victims whose identities are protected by a sweeping publication ban.

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Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American-born wife Caitlan Coleman got the red carpet treatment when they were flown home after Pakistani security forces rescued them from the clutches of the Taliban in October.

President Trump used the news to herald a new “positive moment in our country’s relationship with Pakistan.”

Reporters clambered for interviews with the former hostages.

Agents began “serious” negotiations to make a Hollywood film of their incredible story.

And the family was invited to meet the Canadian prime minister.

The couple and their three young children, all of whom were born in captivity in Pakistan and Afghanistan, visited Justin Trudeau last month, and tweeted pictures on their Twitter page of their children climbing the furniture in Trudeau’s office.

“Today was a wonderful experience for my family, and Ma’idah Grace Makepeace seemed truly enamored,” wrote Boyle in a caption under a family photo in which Trudeau holds his infant daughter on his lap.

There are several photographs which show Boyle’s two toddler boys and a hijab-clad Coleman, 31, sitting next to the Canadian leader and Boyle himself, sporting a half beard, a crisp burgundy shirt and black slacks deep in discussion with Trudeau.

Boyle, 34, told his Twitter followers that he spoke to Trudeau about the Haqqani network, a group of radical Muslim militants who raped his wife, forced her to miscarry one of their children and imprisoned them in a series of decrepit safe houses for five years.

But less than two weeks after that meeting, Boyle is now back in captivity — this time sporting a bright orange T-shirt as he addressed a Canadian courtroom from an Ottawa-area detention center, where he has been held since his Jan. 1 arrest.

Since their rescue, Boyle, the son of a federal tax judge who once flirted with radical Islam, has become even more of an enigma — adept at dodging tough questions.

“There are a lot of holes in his story,” said Phil Gurski, an Ottawa-based security consultant who used to work for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the country’s national intelligence agency. “Why were they in Afghanistan in the first place? There are legitimate questions that need to be answered.”

In October 2012, Boyle and his heavily pregnant wife embarked on a backpacking trip through Ghazni province, one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan and the stronghold of the Haqqani network, a radical Jihadist group tied to both al Qaeda and the Taliban.

On Oct. 8, they sent their families a message telling them they were in an “unsafe” area of Afghanistan, and then disappeared.

As they arrived in Ghazni, the Taliban had closed dozens of schools and were targeting teachers for death.

“At minimum he has to be the stupidest guy on the planet but clearly there is a track record of being sympathetic to violent jihadists in Canada,” Gurski told The Post.

Boyle’s own father-in-law, Jim Coleman, has also had serious questions about Boyle.

“Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place…is unconscionable,” said Coleman in an interview with ABC News last year.

But Boyle was obsessed — fascinated with radical Islam and gripped by a keen sense of adventure.

Boyle, who grew up in a devout Christian family, became interested in radical Islam while still a student at the University of Waterloo. He claims to have edited every Wikipedia entry on radical Islam. Most of his Wikipedia efforts were focused on Omar Khadr, a Canadian and the youngest detainee at Guantanamo. In 2008, Boyle offered to work as a spokesman for the Khadr family, spending much of his time trying to free Omar from detention.

Before marrying Coleman in 2011, Boyle was married to Omar’s outspoken sister, Zaynab Khadr. Their father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was one of Osama Bin Laden’s most trusted lieutenants. Omar was released in 2012 after a decade at Guantanamo and awarded millions by the Canadian government last year after a 2010 Canadian Supreme Court ruling said the country’s intelligence officials obtained evidence from him under torture.

The marriage to Zaynab, who once praised the 9/11 attacks, was shortlived, and the two were divorced after just a year.

Boyle met Coleman, a home-schooled Catholic girl from Stewartstown, Penn., on a Star Wars chat group when they were still in their twenties. They had a brief romantic relationship before Boyle’s marriage to…

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