ransom

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Hackers Threaten to Wipe 559M Apple Accounts

A video reportedly shows them accessing one

(Newser) - Hackers identifying themselves as "Turkish Crime Family" are threatening to wipe hundreds of millions of Apple users' devices, including files backed up on the iCloud, if Apple doesn't pay a ransom of at least $75,000, reports Motherboard . The hackers say they have access to as many as... More »

Fired IT Guy Demands $200K to Unlock Data

Online college couldn't access account

(Newser) - An IT worker fired for refusing to relocate demanded $200,000 to unlock a Google account with the emails and coursework of 2,000 students, an online college claims. The American College of Education alleges in a lawsuit that Triano Williams changed the password on the account and demanded the... More »

Burglars Stole Boy's Ashes, Demanded $5K Ransom

Parents handed over cash for 6-year-old's remains

(Newser) - It would be an insult to the bottom-feeders of the animal kingdom to compare them to burglars police are seeking in Humboldt County, Calif. Police say they're investigating the theft of an urn containing the ashes of Ryan Wagner, a 6-year-old boy who died from cancer in 2011, the... More »

Mystery Donor Willing to Pay 'Ransom' for Missing Jogger

$50K available until Wednesday: website

(Newser) - Authorities have received 400 tips but have few leads in the disappearance of a woman in California. An apparent stranger hopes to change that. An anonymous donor has set up a website offering a $50,000 "ransom reward" if "the person who has Sherri Papini" will let her... More »

Sources: US Kept $400M Until Iran Freed Prisoners

They waited until plane was 'wheels up,' insider says

(Newser) - Administration officials insist that a $400 million cash payment to Iran on the same day Tehran released US prisoners was not a ransom—but sources tell the Wall Street Journal that it was certainly treated like one. Officials and other insiders say the US held onto the cash until a... More »

Trump: OK, I Didn't See Video of Iran Money Plane

Walks back claim he saw 'military tape' of 'money pouring off a plane'

(Newser) - As the White House continued to deflect accusations from conservatives that a $400 million payment to Iran was ransom for four American detainees released earlier this year, Donald Trump twice this week claimed he had seen video of a "top secret" transaction in which the huge supposed payout was... More »

US Sent Iran $400M Same Day Americans Were Released

It was coincidence, not ransom, administration says

(Newser) - " Smart diplomacy "—or dollar diplomacy? The US government quietly delivered the equivalent of $400 million in cash to Iran on Jan. 16 this year, the same day that Tehran released four detained American citizens , sources including US officials tell the Wall Street Journal . The cash, which was... More »

Kidnappers Demand $36.5M for Rich Guy's Mother-in-Law

Bernie Ecclestone faces paying a hefty ransom for wife's mom

(Newser) - Criminals hoping for a share of Bernie Ecclestone's fortune have reportedly kidnapped the racing billionaire's mother-in-law in Brazil. Local media say the criminals, in touch with the 85-year-old Formula One head, are demanding $36.5 million—the highest ransom ever in a Brazilian kidnapping, per the Telegraph . The... More »

Arrests Made, but Still No Trace of Kidnapped Woman

Detectives confident they have the right suspects but lack 'solid leads'

(Newser) - The last time anyone saw Bay Area resident Elvira Babb was when a co-worker dropped her off at the Seafood City Supermarket in Vallejo, Calif., around 3pm on June 29. The next day Babb's son John received a text message in which an anonymous sender threatened to kill his... More »

America Has a New Ransom Policy

President outlines new policies for hostage situations

(Newser) - As expected , President Obama said today that the US government had let down the families of Americans held hostage by terrorists, and he outlined new policies that could make it easier for those families to pay ransom to free their loved ones. "These families have already suffered enough... More »

US: We Won't Prosecute Families for Paying Ransom

Review of policy comes after criticism from relatives of slain ISIS captives

(Newser) - The Obama administration will tell families of Americans held by terror groups that they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution—part of a broad review of US hostage guidelines that will be released tomorrow. President Obama ordered the review last fall after the deaths... More »

US to Back Off Threat to Hostage Families Who Pay Ransom

Won't face jail time; James Foley's mom says gov't 'trying to make it right'

(Newser) - In the wake of James Foley's murder in the Syrian desert, his grief-stricken mother very publicly berated the American government for not doing all it could to free him—and for threatening the Foleys "very clearly three times that it was illegal for us to try to ransom... More »

Bay Area Woman Kidnapped for Ransom

Denise Huskins abducted from boyfriend's home

(Newser) - The details of Denise Huskins' kidnapping are sketchy, but scary: At some point between midnight and 5am Monday, boyfriend Aaron Quinn says he saw her being "forcibly taken against her will" from a Vallejo, Calif., home. He was given a ransom demand; it's not clear when or how... More »

In a Year, ISIS Made $35M in Ransom Cash

Or maybe more ...

(Newser) - ISIS has received between $35 million and $45 million in ransom payments in the past year, a UN expert monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda said yesterday. Kidnapping for ransom "continues to grow," per Yotsna Lalji, who offered this for comparison: An estimated $120 million in ransom was paid to... More »

35K Pounds of Raw Chicken Found Rotting in Truck

Driver allegedly demanded ransom

(Newser) - Getting rid of a little rotting raw chicken: not a big deal. Getting rid of a 53-foot trailer filled with more than 35,000 pounds of rotting raw chicken: a pretty big deal. Missoula County officials are finding that out after a stolen truck was discovered Tuesday at a Wye... More »

Pirates Free American Held for 2 Years

Journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped while researching piracy

(Newser) - A 45-year-old journalist who was kidnapped by Somali pirates more than two years ago has been freed, according to his family and a Somali official cited by CNN . Michael Scott Moore, who holds both US and German citizenship and was in Somalia researching a book on piracy, is said by... More »

ISIS Holding American Woman, 26

Islamic State demands $7M ransom

(Newser) - The same militants who beheaded James Foley are holding a 26-year-old American woman hostage and demanding $6.6 million for her freedom, reports ABC News . The woman has not been identified at the request of her family and US officials, reports AP . She is identified only as a humanitarian relief... More »

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 »

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 »

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