hostage

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Sydney Cafe Victim: Mom of 3

'Best and brightest' barrister Katrina Dawson mourned

(Newser) - A makeshift memorial has been set up in central Sydney and flags across New South Wales will be flown at half-mast today to honor two hostages killed in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe. One victim has been identified as Katrina Dawson, a highly respected barrister and the mother of three children... More »

Police: Sydney Siege 'Is Over;' Gunman and 2 Hostages Dead

Hostages seen fleeing cafe with hands up

(Newser) - More than 16 hours into the hostage situation in Sydney, a dramatic scene and then an ending: The Sydney Morning Herald's live blog reports that police have confirmed the siege has ended, with CNN adding that the gunman was killed in the joint military-police raid. Police are confirming that... More »

Sydney Hostage Taker Demands ISIS Flag

Hostages appear 'pained, strained' as siege goes on

(Newser) - Ominous developments in Sydney, where an unknown number of people are being held hostage in a chocolate shop and cafe: A gunman has contacted multiple media outlets and demanded both an ISIS flag and a phone call to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, according to Sky News Australia , and the... More »

#illridewithyou Triumphs Amid Hostage Situation

Australians come out against anti-Muslim sentiment

(Newser) - In the midst of ominous developments this morning in Sydney, Australia, one encouraging storyline has emerged: Australians are coming out en masse on social media to proclaim that intolerance will not be tolerated. The #illridewithyou hashtag has rapidly gone viral, with residents streaming online to express an eager willingness to... More »

5 Hostages Escape Sydney Chocolate Shop Siege

Up to 30 others still being held, police say

(Newser) - An unknown number of hostages are being held at a chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney in what Prime Minister Tony Abbott says may be a politically motivated incident. Authorities say they're still working to find out how many people are being held in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where... More »

Hostages Held in Sydney Chocolate Shop

TV footage showed what appeared to be black flag with white Arabic writing

(Newser) - An apparent hostage situation is unfolding inside a chocolate shop and cafe in Australia's largest city, where several people could be seen through a window with their hands held in the air. New South Wales police said they were dealing with "an armed incident," though they would... More »

US 'Unaware' of Other Hostage in Failed Raid

Locals say civilian boy also killed in Yemen raid

(Newser) - The US had no idea that South African Pierre Korkie was being held with American Luke Somers before the raid that both men died in , officials say. A US official tells the BBC that special forces were "unaware" of the identity of the other hostage being held with Somers... More »

Charity: Hostage Killed in Raid Was About to Go Free

'His passport was ready,' says official of South Africa's Pierre Korkie

(Newser) - The family of South African teacher Pierre Korkie was expecting him to be released by al-Qaeda tomorrow after 18 months of captivity in Yemen, reports Sky News . Instead, he was killed today as US commandos tried to free fellow hostage Luke Somers, an American. "His passport was ready, everything... More »

Dog Bark May Have Foiled Hostage Rescue

Commandos got close to Yemen compound before noise alerted militants

(Newser) - The US commandos who tried to rescue American Luke Somers in Yemen came agonizingly close to doing so, according to an account in the Wall Street Journal . It says that about 40 special-ops troops got to within 100 yards of the walled compound in silence about 1am local time. Then,... More »

US Hostage Killed in Rescue Attempt

Pentagon: Luke Somers was shot by al-Qaeda

(Newser) - American photojournalist Luke Somers is dead after a rescue attempt by American forces in Yemen, reports the Washington Post . Defense chief Chuck Hagel says that US troops tried to free the 33-year-old Somers because his execution was "imminent," but that his al-Qaeda keepers killed him during the raid.... More »

US: Yemen Raid Missed American Hostage

Luke Somers 'not present' during attempted rescue last month

(Newser) - The Pentagon and White House acknowledged today that the US tried last month to rescue a 33-year-old American journalist, Luke Somers, who is being held by al-Qaeda in Yemen, but "regrettably, Luke was not present," per a National Security Council spokeswoman. A video of Somers pleading for help... More »

US to Review How We Handle Hostage Cases

'Increased frequency of hostage-taking' abroad spurs effort

(Newser) - Amid ISIS' continued onslaught against American hostages and widespread criticism of the White House's response, President Obama has ordered a review of policy in handling hostage situations abroad, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move comes "as a result of the increased frequency of hostage-taking of Americans overseas,... More »

Father of ISIS Hostage Dies

Paul Cantlie had made appeal for release of son John

(Newser) - Paul Cantlie made an impassioned plea from his hospital bed for his son's life earlier this month, but he died not knowing whether it worked. The 80-year-old is dead from complications of pneumonia, reports the BBC . His son, John Cantlie, is a British journalist who has been held captive... More »

Parents Release Letter From US ISIS Hostage

'Hardest part is not knowing,' writes the former Peter Kassig

(Newser) - An American ISIS hostage says he's "scared to die, but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all." The words come from a letter Abdul-Rahman Kassig, formerly known as Peter Kassig, wrote to his parents; they received the... More »

American Held by ISIS Is Former Army Ranger Turned Volunteer

Peter Kassig founded relief organization; parents ask for his release in video

(Newser) - In its latest execution video, ISIS threatened that its next victim would be an American aid worker named Peter Kassig. The 26-year-old is a former Army Ranger from Indiana who served in Iraq in 2007 before being honorably discharged for medical reasons, reports CNN . He enrolled at Butler University upon... More »

Video: ISIS-Linked Group Beheaded French Hostage

Herve Gourdel was kidnapped Sunday in Algeria

(Newser) - Algerian extremists allied with the Islamic State group have decapitated a French hostage after France ignored their demand to stop airstrikes in Iraq, according to a video released by terrorism watchdog SITE Intelligence Group. A group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah said after abducting Herve Gourdel on Sunday that he would... More »

ISIS Hostage's Wife Pleads for Release of 'Peaceful' Man

Alan Henning was driving in an aid convoy when captured

(Newser) - The wife of a British aid worker held hostage by the Islamic State group has issued a statement pleading for the militants to release him and respond to her messages "before it is too late." Alan Henning's wife, Barbara, implored the militants to "see it in... More »

ISIS Claims Beheading of British Hostage

Video purports to show execution of David Haines

(Newser) - ISIS appears to have carried out its threat to behead yet another Western hostage, this time a British citizen named David Haines. The executioner who killed Steven Sotloff in the last video had threatened that Haines would be next . Britain's foreign office said it is "working urgently" to... More »

Mother of US Hostage Pleads to Leader of ISIS

'Please release my child,' says Shirley Sotloff

(Newser) - Shirley Sotloff isn't relying on intermediaries to appeal for her son's release from ISIS—she released a video today appealing directly to the group's leader, reports the New York Times . “You, the caliph, can grant amnesty," Sotloff says after addressing her message to Islamic State... 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 »

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