ISIS Holding American Woman, 26

Islamic State demands $7M ransom
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2014 1:13 PM CDT
Militants Holding American Woman, 26
This undated file image posted on a militant website in January shows fighters from the group Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria.   (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

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 worker who was abducted in Syria last year. In addition to the money, the Islamic State also demands that the US release Aafia Siddiqui—a female Pakistani neuroscientist who fired on US troops—in return for the American woman.

Siddiqui, who trained at MIT, has been in a Texas prison since her conviction in 2010 on attempted murder charges, notes the New York Daily News. It's not clear how many Americans are being held hostage, but the militants have threatened to kill US journalist Steven Joel Sotloff next. (The US does not pay ransoms as a matter of policy; but sometimes it solicits the help of go-betweens, and there things get a little grayer.)

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