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US: We Asked Qatar Not to Pay Ransom for Journalist

Curtis released on 'humanitarian basis,' father says

(Newser) - American officials say they didn't pay a penny to secure the release of kidnapped journalist Peter Theo Curtis —and they asked Qatar not to offer money to the Nusra Front militants holding him. A White House spokesman says the US government put the Curtis family in touch with... More »

Why We Shouldn't Pay Ransom for Journalists

It would boost the risk for others: Thomas E. Ricks

(Newser) - Word is that a multimillion-dollar ransom might have saved James Foley, but the US doesn't fulfill such demands—and it's right not to, writes a journalist who's seen dangerous reporting firsthand. While it's a tragedy that last year, almost 50 journalists were reported killed in the... More »

Cops: Couple Lured Amish Girls With Puppy

Vaisey, Howells 'planned to make girls their slaves'

(Newser) - The upstate New York couple accused of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Amish sisters planned to make the girls their slaves, police say. At a hearing yesterday, a police officer testified that Nicole Vaisey and Stephen Howells were on what they called a "shopping trip" when they seized the... More »

In a First, India Executing Women: Sister Serial Killers

Pair convicted of murdering five kids, suspected in other killings

(Newser) - Serial killer sisters, who kidnapped and murdered at least five children, are poised to become the first women hanged in India, reports the Washington Post . “This is indeed one of the rarest of the rare cases where the perpetrators deserve the death sentence,” a human rights lawyer tells... More »

Couple Charged With Kidnapping 2 Amish Sisters

Police suspect they were planning to go after more victims

(Newser) - Police say they've caught the abductors of two young Amish sisters in northern New York, reports AP . Stephen Howells, 39, and girlfriend Nicole Vaisey, 25, are charged with kidnapping, and St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said today there was a "definite potential" that the couple would have... More »

Girl Missing 9 Months Had 'Horrific' Experience: Lawyer

Abigail Hernandez's family releases statement

(Newser) - The survival of Abigail Hernandez through a "horrific" nine-month abduction is being called a miracle by her family. "For many months, she suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence," one of her lawyers says in a new statement on behalf of the family. "Through her faith, fortitude,... More »

How Europe Nations Fund Half of al-Qaeda's Budget

By paying ransoms after kidnappings: New York Times investigation

(Newser) - Brit Edwin Dyer was kidnapped in 2009 by al-Qaeda in North Africa, along with a German and a Swiss couple. Like the US, Britain doesn’t pay ransoms and didn’t in this case—and Dyer was killed. But his fellow captives were released after their governments paid al-Qaeda a... More »

Arrest Made After Missing Girl's Mysterious Return

Nathaniel E. Kibby charged with kidnapping Abigail Hernandez

(Newser) - There are still more questions than answers, at least publicly, surrounding the mysterious case of Abigail Hernandez , the New Hampshire girl who is back home after going missing nine months ago—but a suspect in the case was arrested today, and charged with kidnapping her. Nathaniel E. Kibby, 34, of... More »

Nigeria's New Casualties: Parents of Kidnapped Girls

11 dead as attacks, trauma-related illnesses take their toll

(Newser) - Whether Nigeria's 219 kidnapped schoolgirls will ever come home to Chibok is an open question, but some of them will definitely never see their parents again. Seven fathers were killed this month in an attack on a nearby village, the AP reports, and heart failure, high blood pressure, and... More »

Kidnapped Girl, 5, Dies in Car Chase, Shootout

Marcus McGowan allegedly took Cadence Harris, fled cops

(Newser) - A kidnapped 5-year-old girl is dead after a shoot-out between police and her alleged kidnapper in Leavenworth, Kansas. According to KSHB, family members say 30-year-old Marcus McGowan took 5 year-old Cadence Harris from her home. But according to the Kansas City Star, McGowan lived with Harris and her mother at... More »

Jogger Finds Missing Baby in Bushes

Infant had been carjacked at gas station

(Newser) - An 8-month-old baby had been missing for hours when a jogger—who happened to be visiting Houston from Vietnam—found her in the bushes, car seat and all. "I thought the baby was abandoned," Hong Nguyen tells NBC News . She called police, who'd already issued an Amber... More »

Boy Terrified of Dentist Invents Abduction Tale

French 12-year-old swears he was kidnapped on way to appointment

(Newser) - Say you love going to the dentist? Well neither does a boy in France who concocted an entire kidnapping story to avoid admitting that he had ducked a dental visit, The Local reports. Police found the 12-year-old during a patrol of the Alpine village St Gervais last month, asked what... More »

Missing Alaska Family Stumps Police, FBI

Two adults, two young girls, their dog seem to have vanished without a trace

(Newser) - After three weeks of searching, investigators are still clueless as to what happened to an Alaska family last seen in late May. A canine scent detection team, along with additional aerial and ground crew, has scoured the area—their town of Kenai is 65 miles southwest of Anchorage with a... More »

US Citizen Among 3 Israeli Teens Feared Kidnapped

Boys went missing last night while hitchhiking in West Bank

(Newser) - Israeli forces are conducting an intense search in the West Bank for three male teenagers they think were kidnapped by Palestinian militants, reports the Jerusalem Post . One of the teens is a US citizen, but not much else is known about him. Two of the teens are age 16 and... More »

Teacher Kidnaps 3 Students, Demands Fast Food

John Edward Maust pulls knife on three 17-year-olds, police say

(Newser) - Three LA-area teenagers pulled over to greet their high school teacher standing on a curb Saturday night—but things got weird when he got in the car, KTLA reports. The driver agreed to give John Edward Maust, 34, a lift even though he seemed intoxicated, sheriff's officials said in... More »

Cops: Uber Driver Kidnapped Drunk Woman

Frederick Dencer also accused of 'fondling' her

(Newser) - Words Uber would likely rather not hear in the same sentence: its name, and "kidnapping." One of the ride-sharing service's California drivers was arrested Monday on suspicion of kidnapping an intoxicated woman he was supposed to be driving home, KTLA reports. The 26-year-old woman was bar-hopping in... More »

Reports: 4 More Nigerian Girls Escape

Details are sketchy, as former president has negotiations with Boko Haram

(Newser) - Signs of hope for Nigeria's kidnapped girls? USA Today rounds up reports in Nigerian newspapers saying that four more girls escaped from their Boko Haram captors. Scant details were available, but an official in Chibok—the village from which the girls were abducted—was quoted as saying the girls... More »

Kidnapped Newborn Saved Thanks to Facebook

Melissa McMahon got baby girl back within 3 hours

(Newser) - The mother of a day-old infant kidnapped from a Quebec hospital by a fake nurse got her baby back within three hours thanks to four young people who spotted an alert on Facebook. One of the group recognized the suspect's photo and guided police to her home, where they... More »

UN Fact-Finders Attacked in Syria

Amid reports they were kidnapped, watchdog group says staffers safe

(Newser) - A group of UN and chemical weapons watchdog members came under attack in Syria, according to reports—but stories conflict regarding what happened next, France 24 notes. Syria's foreign ministry said 11 people were kidnapped, six of them UN fact-finders. Officials said opposition fighters were behind the attack, the... More »

Nigerian Official: We Know Where Missing Girls Are

But attacking Boko Haram is too dangerous, he says

(Newser) - Nigeria's military has located nearly 300 school girls abducted by Boko Haram militants but fears using force to try to free them could get them killed, the country's chief of defense said today. Air Marshal Alex Barde told demonstrators supporting the much-criticized military that Nigerian troops can save... More »

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