Freed Taliban Prisoner Thought Trump Presidency Couldn't Be Real

"It didn’t enter my mind that he was being serious," Joshua Boyle recalled of the moment a captor told him the news.

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian citizen who spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban, didn’t believe his captors when they told him who the new United States president was.

Boyle and his wife, Caitlan Coleman, were reportedly backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 when they were captured by the Taliban. Coleman, an American, was pregnant at the time, and she gave birth four times during their imprisonment. The family was freed by the Pakistani military on Wednesday, and they returned home to Canada on Friday.

During a press conference, Boyle accused the Taliban of raping Coleman and murdering their infant daughter. The terrorist group has denied the accusation.

The family was completely deprived of news during their capture, said Boyle, who told the Toronto Star that he didn’t know that Justin Trudeau was the Canadian prime minister until he was freed. 

One of their captors did reveal that Donald Trump had won the United States presidency, but Boyle said he didn’t think that was real.

“It didn’t enter my mind that he was being serious,” Boyle told the Star

Families of both Boyle and Coleman have said in the past that the couple were on a hiking trip in Afghanistan, according the Washington Post. At his press conference, Boyle said they were attempting to help villagers in remote parts of the country and referred to himself as a “pilgrim.” 

The family will likely need some time to adjust to life back home. Boyle and Coleman’s surviving children ― 4-year-old Jonah, 2-year-old Noah and 6-month-old Grace ― have never known a life outside of captivity. 

This story has been updated with additional information on Boyle’s explanation for his and his wife’s presence in Afghanistan.