Tags: James Foley | ISIS | ransom | hostages

Foley Family: US 'Didn't Help Us Much' After Kidnapping

Image: Foley Family: US 'Didn't Help Us Much' After Kidnapping
Diane and John Foley, parents of journalilst James Foley. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 09:40 AM


The Obama administration gave little hope to the family of James Foley, the journalist beheaded by the Islamic State (ISIS), following his kidnapping by the militant group, The New York Times reported.

After Michael Foley, James' brother, received an email a year after he was captured asking for pay off in exchange for his release, the U.S. government made it clear that a ransom was an impossibility, even though a number of European governments offered payments in exchange for the release of their citizens who were captured.

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"The F.B.I. didn't help us much — let's face it," Diane Foley, James' mother, said in an interview with the Times.

"Our government was very clear that no ransom was going to be paid, or should be paid," she said. "It was horrible — and continues to be horrible. You are between a rock and a hard place."

The Times said that Diane Foley's comments revealed the sentiments of two dozen others it spoke to who were connected to Foley and other hostages. They were extremely frustrated and desperate for Washington to take more action to secure their release, the Times said.

The Foley family and others say they felt they were largely left to struggle on their own, and had the impression that the administration was doing little and was largely unconcerned about the situation. It was noted, however, that the F.B.I. remained in daily contact with the Foley family, but the three person team was limited in the information it could share.

"We cannot — and do not — want to give the families every single lead because some turn up to be dry holes, and we want to minimize the yo-yo effect," a unnamed senior law enforcement official told the Times.

Administration officials defend their approach to the hostage situation and say that they unsuccessfully mounted a risky mission to try to free the captives.

The United States and Britain are two of the only countries that maintain a policy of refusing to pay ransom, insisting that doing so encourages more kidnapping.

"What is hard to prove is how many Americans have not been kidnapped as a result of the fact that the enemy knows they will not get a penny from us," retired Gen. John Allen, told the Times. "In the aftermath of this horrific event it makes it hard to explain this policy. But the fact that there are Americans in the region who were never taken because they knew there was no advantage to doing so needs to be factored in."

The government's policy on the hostages became particularly controversial after the prisoner swap with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The Foleys began personally raising money for James' release even though they had been told by the F.B.I. that it was a crime for private citizens to pay off terrorists.

"It was a very, very frightening place to be," Diane Foley told the Times. "And other countries do this better."

"I would hope that our government and the international community is looking deeply at this issue, and we pray that by doing so, Jim's death will not be in vain."

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The Obama administration gave little hope to the family of James Foley, the journalist beheaded by the Islamic State, following his kidnapping by the militant group.
James Foley, ISIS, ransom, hostages
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2014-40-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 09:40 AM
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