US Govt Threatened Family of Beheaded Journalist

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The family of US journalist James Foley – who was kidnapped and killed by the Islamic State – had been “threatened” by the US government with charges of aiding terrorists if they tried to raise funds to pay ransom for him, Foley’s mother told the media.

Obama administration officials repeatedly warned the family of murdered journalist James Foley that they might face criminal charges for supporting terrorism if they paid a ransom to the Islamic State jihadists who were holding and, ultimately, beheaded their son, his mother and brother said this week.

“We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling,” Foley’s mother Diane said in an interview with ABC News.

“I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance,” she elaborated in another interview with CNN. “It didn’t seem to be in [US] strategic interest, if you will.”

US President Barack Obama leaves after making ...

The 40-year-old journalist was kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) radicals in November 2012 while reporting from Syria. He was ceremonially beheaded, apparently over US military involvement in Iraq, and a video of his murder was released by the group in August.

In the months leading up to his death, the Foley family was contacted by the jihadists with large ransom demands, which they were unable to meet.

Officials told Foley family members “not go to the media,” and that the “government would not exchange prisoners,” according to Diane Foley. Diane and her husband John were also concerned that any donors to their ransom collection drive might be thrown in prison for funding terrorism.

“Jim was killed in the most horrific way. He was sacrificed because of just a lack of coordination, lack of communication, lack of prioritization,” Diane Foley said. “As a family, we had to find our way through this on our own.”

“It was very upsetting because we were essentially told to trust… that the way they were handling things would bring our son home,” she added.

Several US officials familiar with Foley case confirmed the alleged threats were made. “It was an utterly idiotic thing to do that came across as if [the US official] had the compassion of an anvil,” one official told ABC.

Categories: Societal

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