"It's my understanding that the government has done all that they can do and they've just not been successful. So, now the family has to take it upon themselves to try to bring Colin home," Rutherford's mother, Wendy, told CNN affiliate CBC News in 2011.

His brother, Brian, told CBC that the family was willing to negotiate.

"Let's do something to make that happen," Brian Rutherford said. "Please contact us."

It's not clear how exactly Rutherford earned his freedom, or whether a ransom was paid or a prisoner-swap was negotiated. The government of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a policy of not paying ransoms. It's not clear if the current government, which took power in November, agrees with this stance.

"Canada is very pleased that efforts undertaken to secure the release of Colin Rutherford from captivity have been successful," Dion said. "We look forward to Mr. Rutherford being able to return to Canada and reunite with his family and loved ones."

Dion also thanked the government of Qatar for its help in freeing Rutherford. Qatar has a history of mediating negotiations between Western nations and terrorist organisations.

Colin Rutherford freed after 5 years as Taliban captive - CNN.com