hostage

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Freed Hostage Mom Played Beheading Game With Son

In an effort to make him less afraid, says Caitlan Coleman Boyle

(Newser) - The American hostage mom who was freed five years after being captured by the Taliban-related Haqqani network is detailing the abuse she suffered to ABC News in hopes that those responsible will see some measure of justice for the "human rights violations" committed against the family. Caitlan Coleman Boyle,... More »

Lebanon President: Saudis Are Holding Our PM Hostage

It's Michel Aoun's strongest statement since Saad al-Hariri resigned

(Newser) - Lebanon President Michel Aoun said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is holding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his family hostage. It's the first time since al-Hariri's sudden resignation earlier this month that Aoun has explicitly accused Saudi Arabia of holding him, Reuters reports. Al-Hariri resigned during a trip... More »

Calif. Father Fatally Shot After Taking Teacher Hostage

SWAT team moved in after more than 6 hours

(Newser) - A parent's dispute with staff members at the California school where his daughter is in first grade escalated into a fight, a hostage-taking, and a fatal shooting Tuesday. Police in Riverside say 27-year-old Luvelle Kennon was shot when a SWAT team stormed the classroom where he'd been holding... More »

Taliban: Kidnapped US Professor Is Extremely Sick

Kevin King's condition worsens by the day, militants say

(Newser) - An American professor kidnapped in Afghanistan more than a year ago is extremely ill and getting worse all the time, the Taliban says. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says 60-year-old Kevin King has "dangerous" heart and kidney diseases that have "exponentially worsened" during his time in captivity. "His... More »

His Plan: Ride Across Africa. He Was Captured in Timbuktu

The story of Johan Gustafsson's nearly 6 years with al-Qaeda

(Newser) - Johan Gustafsson spent more than five years learning Arabic, French, and local African languages. The alternative might have been going mad. Gustafsson was abducted from his hotel terrace in Timbuktu, Mali, on Nov. 25, 2011, reports the Local . The then-36-year-old had been in the city just 24 hours, as part... More »

Tourist Kidnapped by al-Qaeda Freed 6 Years Later

Swede Johan Gustafsson had been held in Mali

(Newser) - A Swedish man kidnapped by Islamic militants in northern Mali nearly six years ago has been released from captivity, the Swedish government confirmed Monday. There was no immediate word on the fate of a second hostage, from South Africa, who was also seized in Timbuktu. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom... More »

Trump White House Tried to Free US Hostage in Syria

CIA chief had secret talks for journalist Austin Tice, but to no avail

(Newser) - The Trump administration has been trying to get another US hostage home: Austin Tice . The New York Times reports that clandestine talks between CIA director Mike Pompeo and Syrian intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk began in February to initiate the release of the American journalist and former Marine, who went missing... More »

Cops: Tourist Held, Raped Over 2 Months in Australia

Cairns man in custody after traffic stop on Sunday

(Newser) - "Horrific," "catastrophic," and "terrifying" are just a few words police in Queensland, Australia, are using to describe a two-month ordeal during which they say a British woman was held captive, beaten, and raped by a former lover. Authorities say the 22-year-old woman from Liverpool had... More »

Guard Killed at Delaware Prison Warned Colleagues of 'Trap'

Sgt. Steven Floyd was forced into a closet by inmates

(Newser) - Forced into a closet by inmates at Delaware's largest prison, Sgt. Steven Floyd called out to officers coming to his aid, warning them that inmates had set a trap—saving their lives with his final actions, union President Geoffrey Klopp says. Floyd was found dead early Thursday after authorities... More »

Fellow ISIS Captives Amazed by Kayla Mueller's Strength

Chilling 'proof of life' video surfaces

(Newser) - Fresh details of Kayla Mueller's days as an ISIS captive are revealed in an ABC 20/20 report airing Friday night, and they highlight both the horror of her circumstances and her amazing strength. Four former hostages, including three women who shared a cell with the young American in 2014,... More »

Report: Iran Offered to Release American Years Ago

Robert Levinson's family didn't know about secret meeting

(Newser) - A CIA consultant who disappeared in Iran in 2007 wasn't part of this month's prisoner exchange —and according to newly disclosed documents seen by the New York Times , the best chance of getting Robert Levinson home may have been in 2011. A memo sent to the FBI... More »

Woman, 11 Kids Held Hostage in Georgia Freed

DeKalb PD says woman placed a 911 call around 2am

(Newser) - A middle-of-the-night standoff at a hotel in DeKalb County, Ga., has ended with no harm to the woman and 11 children being held hostage within one of its rooms. The woman placed a 911 call around 2am following a domestic dispute, per a rep with the DeKalb PD; a SWAT... More »

How the FBI Handled One of Its Toughest Hostage Cases

A 5-year-old boy's life hung in the balance

(Newser) - When Jimmy Lee Dykes told a bus driver shortly before shooting him to death that he himself would die at the end of the ordeal, Dykes was right. But first he kidnapped a 5-year-old boy from the bus and held him hostage for a week in an underground bunker on... More »

Unnamed American Hostage Still in Yemen

English teacher, 35, still in custody of Shiite Houthi rebels

(Newser) - Despite early reports that three US hostages were freed in Yemen yesterday, authorities now say just two have arrived in Oman, which negotiated their release. Shiite Houthi rebels chose to keep a third US hostage in custody; he's identified only as a 35-year-old Muslim convert who had been in... More »

Friend Reveals ID of US Hostage in Yemen

Scott Darden was taken by rebels while transporting humanitarian aid

(Newser) - The wife of a 45-year-old Atlanta man—one of three Americans being held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen—is pleading for his freedom. "We are asking for his safe return," Diana Loesch tells the Washington Post . "He loved the Yemeni people." The newspaper reports the... More »

Hostage Uses App to Order Pizza, 911 Help

'Get 911 to me,' she wrote in Pizza Hut order

(Newser) - A Florida woman helped save herself and her three children from a hostage situation on Monday with help from a pizza app. Cheryl Treadway told police she'd been arguing with her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, at their home in Highlands County when he took her cellphone and grabbed a knife.... 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 »

Hostage's Family Paid $250K Ransom, Got Nothing

Warren Weinstein's captors received money in 2012, say reports

(Newser) - It's one more wrenching detail in the death of American hostage Warren Weinstein, who was killed in error by a US drone strike. It turns out that his family paid his abductors $250,000 in 2012 for his release, to no avail, reports the Wall Street Journal and Foreign ... More »

When Taken, US Hostage Was About to Return Home

Warren Weinstein was abducted by al-Qaeda, eventually killed by US drone strike

(Newser) - Stories recounting the life of Warren Weinstein—the 73-year-old American accidentally killed by a US drone strike after nearly four years as an al-Qaeda hostage—tend to mention one detail up high: When the aid worker was abducted in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011, he was just days away from returning... More »

Dutch Hostage Free After Years in Mali

Sjaak Rijke was rescued by French special forces

(Newser) - A Dutchman who was held in captivity by Islamic militants for more than three years has left Mali and is headed back home, officials say. Sjaak Rijke, who was abducted from a hotel in Timbuktu, northern Mali, in November 2011, flew into Mali's capital Bamako yesterday after being rescued... More »

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