James Foley

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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 »

Report: US Sat on Info About Hostages' Location

Daily Beast says US waited a month to act on British intelligence

(Newser) - A few weeks after the US staged a failed rescue mission last July to retrieve ISIS hostages Kayla Mueller , James Foley , and Steven Sotloff , the Muslim insurgents started sending out a gruesome chain of beheading videos. Now US and UK officials are saying that the hostages had been moved just... More »

ISIS Wants $1M for Body of James Foley

Islamic State now trying to ransom his remains

(Newser) - The Islamic State couldn't get a ransom for James Foley while he was alive, but now the group wants to collect one for his remains, reports BuzzFeed . The website quotes three sources as saying that ISIS will turn over the American journalist's body for $1 million and provide... 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 »

For ISIS Hostages, a Litany of Horror Before Death

Americans, Brits bore brunt of excruciating abuse for months

(Newser) - When James Foley was forced to his knees in the sands outside Raqqa, stared straight into a camera, and met his unimaginably horrifying and public death at the hands of the Islamic State, the world recoiled at the brutality. But Foley's execution—and those that followed—was the culmination... More »

FBI: We've Identified 'Jihadi John'

But FBI Director James Comey isn't making the information public

(Newser) - The US believes it has identified the British-accented masked man in videos related to the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker. But FBI chief James Comey told reporters that he would not reveal the man's name or nationality. Comey did not address whether the US... More »

White House: We Did Not Threaten Foleys or Sotloffs

'We made clear what the law is,' when families weighed paying ransom

(Newser) - The White House hit back at allegations from the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff that they were threatened with prosecution as they weighed whether to pay Islamic State militants ransom for their sons. "In terms of what was communicated to the families, in the midst of many,... More »

James Foley's Mom Rips US Over Son's Death

Says government threatened to prosecute if family paid a ransom

(Newser) - James Foley's mother has some blistering words for the US government in how it handled her son's abduction . In an interview with Anderson Cooper that airs tonight on CNN , Diane Foley says she is "embarrassed and appalled" at how American officials acted. Officials threatened family members with... More »

Sotloff Family Rep Challenges ISIS Leader to Debate

Says slain journalist wasn't a 'war junkie' or a hero, just a 'mere man'

(Newser) - The family of Steven Sotloff has broken its silence in the wake of the journalist's execution with a message equal parts tribute and defiance. Sotloff was neither a "war junkie" nor a "hero," says family spokesman Barak Barfi. "He was a mere man who tried... More »

Biden: We'll Chase ISIS to 'Gates of Hell'

While Hagel reiterates that US will 'degrade and destroy' the group

(Newser) - Joe Biden today said America will follow the terrorists who posted videos showing the beheading of two journalists "to the gates of hell." Speaking at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Biden said the Islamic State militant group responsible for beheading James Foley and Steven Sotloff won't intimidate the... More »

ISIS Claims to Execute US Journalist Sotloff

Video emerges with apparent beheading, threatens British captive next

(Newser) - The captors of American journalist Steven Sotloff appear to have carried out their threat to execute him as they did James Foley , reports the AP . A new video posted online by the Islamic State, or ISIS, claims to show his beheading. A global terrorism monitor, SITE Intelligence Group, says the... More »

British PM Raises UK Threat Level to 'Severe'

Government thinks attack by extremists is 'highly likely'

(Newser) - David Cameron changed the UK threat level from "substantial" to "severe"—its second-highest level—and outlined measures the British government is taking to combat terrorism at a press conference today in London, reports the BBC . On the heels of the execution of James Foley and other disturbing... More »

ISIS Waterboarded Hostages

American James Foley was among them, reports Washington Post

(Newser) - James Foley and at least three other hostages held by the Islamic State were waterboarded multiple times during captivity, reports the Washington Post . The newspaper quotes anonymous sources for the scoop, and says the ISIS militants "appeared to model" the infamous technique —labeled as torture by President Obama—... More »

Journo Thanks 'Big-Hearted' People Who Won His Release

Peter Theo Curtis says he's 'overwhelmed' to learn about efforts

(Newser) - American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, recently back on US soil , said in his first public remarks today that he was overwhelmed by the people who were behind efforts to secure his release from al-Nusra Front. Curtis, who was freed Sunday after 22 months in captivity, wore sandals and a gray... More »

Freed Journalist Arrives Back in US

Peter Curtis 'moved beyond words' by welcome back

(Newser) - Peter Curtis has made it back to the US and been reunited with his mother after nearly two years in the hands of Syrian militants. "I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today—strangers on the airplane,... More »

Freed American's Mom: Foley's Death Was 'Excruciating'

Curtis' mother says she, Diane Foley have 'been through so much together'

(Newser) - When the mother of journalist Peter Theo Curtis learned he'd been freed from captivity by the Nusra Front, her first move was to email James Foley's mom. "Even before I told my daughter, I sat down and sent an email to Diane Foley," Nancy Curtis tells... 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 »

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 »

James Foley Honored With Hometown Mass

Slain journalist opened our eyes, bishop says

(Newser) - Hundreds of people packed a church in Rochester, New Hampshire, yesterday to honor murdered journalist James Foley at a mass in his hometown. At the Catholic church they attend, Foley's parents received a standing ovation after giving thanks for all the support they had received, reports the Wall Street ... More »

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