Tags: War on Terrorism | islamist | militants | pakistan | demand | ransom | hostage

Islamic Militants Demanded Ransom for Bodies of Killed Hostages

Image: Islamic Militants Demanded Ransom for Bodies of Killed Hostages
(AP) Warren Weinstein in captivity in 2013.

By    |   Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 10:11 PM

Islamist militants demanded the U.S. government pay ransom for the return of the bodies of two hostages accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last January, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Kidnapped aid workers Warren Weinstein, an American, and Giovanni Lo Porto of Italy had been held hostage by a terrorist cell for years before the drone strike – which President Barack Obama made public April 23, apologizing to the families.

The Journal reports, however, that a few days after the strike, a different al Qaeda group secretly contacted the U.S. government demanding ransom payments for the return of the men's bodies.

The Obama administration told the Weinstein family of the demand, but ruled out making the ransom payment and advised the family not to pay it either, the Journal reports.

U.S. officials also shared information about the ransom demands with the Italian government, which announced Thursday it had recovered Lo Porto's body – though it didn't say if it payed any ransom, the Journal reports.

A Weinstein family spokesman tells the Journal the family was "grateful that the Lo Porto family has this opportunity for some closure to this nightmare. Unfortunately, Warren’s body is still missing and there are presently no indications that he will be returned to his family so he can receive a proper burial."

The family also said it didn't understand why the U.S. and Pakistani governments didn't go right to the site of the strike to claim the bodies.

"The United States will explore every available and appropriate avenue to recover Dr. Weinstein’s remains," an unnamed Obama administration official tells the Journal.

In June, Obama announced a new office to work with families of hostages in the wake of complaints about how some cases were handled.

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Islamist militants demanded the U.S. government pay ransom for the return of the bodies of two hostages accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last January, The Wall Street Journal reports.
islamist, militants, pakistan, demand, ransom, hostage, bodies
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2015-11-20
Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 10:11 PM
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