hostage

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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 »

James Foley Tricked Captors to Send Family a Last Letter

He had fellow hostage memorize it, recite it to his mom

(Newser) - In captivity, it was impossible for James Foley to get letters home past guards. So he came up with a way to get a final message to his family anyway—through the mouth of another prisoner, Vanity Fair reports. Foley dictated the letter to fellow hostage and photojournalist Daniel Rye... More »

All 7 Hostages Free, Safe in 20-Hour Chicago Ordeal

2 suspects arrested; officers treated for wounds

(Newser) - All of the hostages who were being held at a home near Chicago in a standoff that started early yesterday afternoon have been rescued, NBC Chicago reports. Four children had been released last night, and the two remaining children and an adult woman were found safe this morning after police... More »

2 Robbers, Hostage Killed in Chase, Shootout: Cops

Fleeing suspects shot at cops, threw hostages from SUV

(Newser) - Fleeing bank robbers in Stockton, Calif., fired AK-47-style rifles at police and threw two hostages from a speeding SUV in a high-speed chase and shootout that left two suspects and one hostage dead and left bullet holes in 14 police cars and an unknown number of homes. A witness tells... More »

This Man Spent 5 Years as Hostage, Then 'Thrived'

Joe Cicippio explains why the experience didn't ruin him

(Newser) - Joe Cicippio spent five years often chained to a radiator, a captive of Hezbollah in Lebanon. His only companions were his masked kidnappers and one or two other captives. But he's thrived since his release in 1991, and now Cicippio, 83, reveals how in an interview with NPR . “... More »

LA Deputies Accidentally Shoot, Kill Hostage

Victim worked on Comedy Central's 'Tosh.0'

(Newser) - Deputies responding to a hostage situation at a Los Angeles apartment complex Monday apparently shot the wrong person. NWCN reports the victim was producer John Winkler, a production assistant for Comedy Central's Tosh.0. It's unclear whether 30-year-old Winkler was already a hostage when the situation began unfolding,... More »

Paris Jewel Thief Caught After He Kissed Hostage

He was trying to 'ease her trauma,' but the DNA did him in

(Newser) - Ah, l'amour. Police have captured an admitted jewel thief in Paris, and all because he made the last-second mistake of planting a kiss on his hostage. In April the 20-year-old, identified only as "Pierre G," and an accomplice allegedly followed a 56-year-old jewelry store employee home, where... More »

Man Pleads Guilty in Jaycee Dugard-Like Case

Raul Ochoa to get 22 years in state prison

(Newser) - A horrifying case out of California is drawing comparisons to Jaycee Lee Dugard's story: A Richmond man who held a young girl as a sex slave for 14 years yesterday pleaded guilty to charges of forced lewd acts on a child and forcible rape in exchange for a 22-year... More »

American al-Qaeda Hostage: US Has 'Abandoned' Me

Held in Pakistan since 2011, Warren Weinstein appeals for Obama's help

(Newser) - Little has been heard of US government worker Warren Weinstein, abducted in Pakistan in 2011 , since al-Qaeda released a video of the hostage last year. Now, he's resurfaced to plead again for President Obama to meet his captors' demands via a new video in which he "looked ashen... More »

2 Cops Hurt in LA County Hostage Drama

Gunman surrenders peacefully after 9 hours

(Newser) - A crisis negotiation team managed to bring a hostage standoff to a peaceful end last night after a tense nine hours. The standoff began when a man in an Inglewood home opened fire on two officers who arrived to investigate reports of a family disturbance. A male officer was hurt... More »

Ex-Hostage: Syria Rebels Are 'Bandits,' Fanatics

After 5 months captive, says US strike would only make them stronger

(Newser) - An Italian war reporter held hostage for five months by rebel forces in Syria has written a damning denunciation of the anti-Assad movement. "It is not the revolution that I encountered two years ago in Aleppo—secular, tolerant. It has become something else," Domenico Quirico wrote in his... More »

Escaped Inmate Killed by His 71-Year-Old Hostage

Captive Jerome Mauderly was a former prison guard

(Newser) - An escaped inmate on the run from police took a retired couple hostage in their rural home, only to be shot and killed by one of his captives yesterday. Turns out, Rodney Long, 38, had managed to break into the house of ... a former prison guard. Long, who was serving... More »

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