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Islamic State threatens to execute U.S. woman if ransom demands not met

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/27/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Demanding $6.6 million in ransom, Islamic State also demands release of convict

The Islamic State is threatening to execute a 26-year-old American woman if it does not receive $6.6 million in ransom. Remaining unidentified, at the request of her family, the woman was reportedly doing humanitarian relief work in Syria when she went missing last year.

In addition to the ransom money, Islamic State is also demanding the release of MIT-trained neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill two U.S. officials.

In addition to the ransom money, Islamic State is also demanding the release of MIT-trained neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill two U.S. officials.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/27/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Hostrage, ransom, Islamic State, journalists


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In addition to the ransom money, Islamic State is also demanding the release of MIT-trained neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill two U.S. officials. The group said that if it receives the ransom and Siddiqui is released, it will spare the American woman's life.

In response, Mauri Saalakhan of the Peace and Justice Foundation said the Siddiqui family was horrified by the request, and does not want to be associated with the Islamic State.

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"They made it very clear, this is not the way, these are not the conditions under which we want our loved ones released," Saalakhan said. "Nor did they want harm to come to anyone else's loved one in the name of Aafia... They conveyed that message loud and clear."

The demand comes shortly after the terrorist group beheaded American journalist James Foley and spread video of the horrific execution on social media.

The 40-year-old Foley had worked in a number of conflict zones across the Mideast, including Iraq, Libya and Syria. He was in northern Syria on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based news organization GlobalPost when the car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control.

In the video that showed Foley's death, a masked militant said that [Steven] Sotloff's fate rested in President Obama's hands - an apparent demand that the U.S. stop airstrikes against [Islamic State] targets in Iraq.

Other American hostages have been held by other militant groups, including Peter Curtis from Boston, who was recently released by al-Nusra Front, a rival Sunni extremist group. Another U.S. freelance journalist, Austin Tice of Houston, disappeared in Syria in August 2012 and is believed to be held by the same organization. Tice was working for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and other media outlets when he was kidnapped.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimated at least 30 journalists have been kidnapped or have disappeared in Syria - held and threatened with death by extremists or taken captive by gangs seeking ransom.

The group reported 52 journalists have been killed since Syria's civil war began in early 2011 and documented at least 24 other journalists who disappeared earlier this year but are now safe.

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