There are still hostages being held by jihadists in Afghanistan-Pakistan

The Daily Beast is reporting for the first time that an unnamed American man has been held by the ruthless Haqqani group of terrorists in Afghanistan for more than a year. At the request of the government and the family, the Daily Beast is not releasing his name, nor the circumstances of his capture.

This hostage - along with an American woman and her Canadian husband also being held in Afghanistan by Haqqani terrorists - reveal the sad fact that our governmnet has literally abandoned Americans held captive by our enemies.

Previously, The Daily Beast had agreed not to write anything at all about the hostage. However, on Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a leading critic in Congress of the Obama administration’s hostage rescue and recovery policies, wrote a public letter to President Obama in which he noted that “there are still Americans in captivity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.”

The only other American known to be held in that region is Caitlin Coleman, who was kidnapped along with her husband, Joshua Boyle, a Canadian citizen, while traveling in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman had a child while in captivity, multiple U.S. officials have said.

While Hunter’s letter mentions no American hostages by name, a spokesperson for the congressman told The Daily Beast that by “Americans” the lawmaker is referring to “all Americans,” including Coleman, her child, and the American man being held.

 

The exact details of the man’s kidnapping remain unclear.

The militants said to be holding him have not made any public demands concerning his possible release. The Haqqani are known to negotiate for their captives and have conducted prisoner exchanges. A former government official in Afghanistan said the American man is alive and in good health, although his precise whereabouts remain unknown both to local officials and those in the United States.

U.S. and foreign sources knowledgeable about Coleman and her family’s case told The Daily Beast that they believe she, her husband, and their child are also alive and well. The family is also believed to be held by the Haqqani.

Coleman’s case differs from the American man’s in key respects. Her family, along with her husband’s, decided to issue a public appeal for their children’s safe return. And Coleman and Boyle have appeared in a video asking their governments to work for their release.

Efforts to recover all U.S. hostages are now under the control of a new Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell established in the wake of the abduction and killing of four Americans at the hands of ISIS. Families of some of those hostages had publicly criticized the Obama administration for not communicating with them about the fate of their loved ones and of bungling attempts to free them.

The White House declined to comment for this story.+

The bottom line is the the White House would much prefer the plight of the hostages be downplayed to avoid public pressure to do anything about it. Only after ISIS publicly threatened the lives of American hostages did the press stir to life and the administration appeared to be taking action. Four Americans, including journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, as well as aid worker Peter Kassig have been executed by Islamic State. Another aid worker, Kayla Mueller, was probably killed during a mission to rescue her.

In the past, the families of hostages did not trust the administration to tell them the truth about their loved ones and what the government is doing to get them back.  This has apparently changed as this new "Fusion Cell" has improved communications with families dramatically.

But you have to wonder how many more American hostages are being held that we don't know about? Iran, of course, has been holding three Americans on trumped up espionage charges for years. It is to their eternal shame that the administration negotiated a nuclear deal with the Iranians without freeing these Americans being tortured and beaten while in Iranian prisons. 

The administration has sought to change its policy on hostages, making a better effort to keep families informed, and using third parties to intercede on our behalf with the terrorists. But it seems a futile undertaking, given the enemy we're dealing with.

 

The Daily Beast is reporting for the first time that an unnamed American man has been held by the ruthless Haqqani group of terrorists in Afghanistan for more than a year. At the request of the government and the family, the Daily Beast is not releasing his name, nor the circumstances of his capture.

This hostage - along with an American woman and her Canadian husband also being held in Afghanistan by Haqqani terrorists - reveal the sad fact that our governmnet has literally abandoned Americans held captive by our enemies.

Previously, The Daily Beast had agreed not to write anything at all about the hostage. However, on Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a leading critic in Congress of the Obama administration’s hostage rescue and recovery policies, wrote a public letter to President Obama in which he noted that “there are still Americans in captivity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.”

The only other American known to be held in that region is Caitlin Coleman, who was kidnapped along with her husband, Joshua Boyle, a Canadian citizen, while traveling in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman had a child while in captivity, multiple U.S. officials have said.

While Hunter’s letter mentions no American hostages by name, a spokesperson for the congressman told The Daily Beast that by “Americans” the lawmaker is referring to “all Americans,” including Coleman, her child, and the American man being held.

 

The exact details of the man’s kidnapping remain unclear.

The militants said to be holding him have not made any public demands concerning his possible release. The Haqqani are known to negotiate for their captives and have conducted prisoner exchanges. A former government official in Afghanistan said the American man is alive and in good health, although his precise whereabouts remain unknown both to local officials and those in the United States.

U.S. and foreign sources knowledgeable about Coleman and her family’s case told The Daily Beast that they believe she, her husband, and their child are also alive and well. The family is also believed to be held by the Haqqani.

Coleman’s case differs from the American man’s in key respects. Her family, along with her husband’s, decided to issue a public appeal for their children’s safe return. And Coleman and Boyle have appeared in a video asking their governments to work for their release.

Efforts to recover all U.S. hostages are now under the control of a new Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell established in the wake of the abduction and killing of four Americans at the hands of ISIS. Families of some of those hostages had publicly criticized the Obama administration for not communicating with them about the fate of their loved ones and of bungling attempts to free them.

The White House declined to comment for this story.+

The bottom line is the the White House would much prefer the plight of the hostages be downplayed to avoid public pressure to do anything about it. Only after ISIS publicly threatened the lives of American hostages did the press stir to life and the administration appeared to be taking action. Four Americans, including journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, as well as aid worker Peter Kassig have been executed by Islamic State. Another aid worker, Kayla Mueller, was probably killed during a mission to rescue her.

In the past, the families of hostages did not trust the administration to tell them the truth about their loved ones and what the government is doing to get them back.  This has apparently changed as this new "Fusion Cell" has improved communications with families dramatically.

But you have to wonder how many more American hostages are being held that we don't know about? Iran, of course, has been holding three Americans on trumped up espionage charges for years. It is to their eternal shame that the administration negotiated a nuclear deal with the Iranians without freeing these Americans being tortured and beaten while in Iranian prisons. 

The administration has sought to change its policy on hostages, making a better effort to keep families informed, and using third parties to intercede on our behalf with the terrorists. But it seems a futile undertaking, given the enemy we're dealing with.