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James Foley

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  • Where the new U.S. policy on hostages goes wrong

    In announcing a new program to coordinate efforts to recover Americans held by foreign terrorists, President Obama on Wednesday assured their families that "we will stand by you" and share information. He also promised that families who pay ransom to hostage-takers wouldn't be prosecuted by the government under laws against providing material support for terrorism.
  • Obama: US government has let down hostages' families

    President Barack Obama conceded Wednesday that the U.S. government had let down the families of Americans held hostage by terrorists and promised they would not face criminal prosecution for paying ransoms to their loved ones' captors. "These families...

    US drops prohibition against talks with terrorists under revamped hostage policy

    WASHINGTON The execution of American captives by the Islamic State group has driven the U.S. government to overhaul its handling of hostage cases, with President Barack Obama acknowledging Wednesday that longstanding policy was inadequate as "the...

    The high cost of kidnapping

    Does paying ransom to a foreign kidnapper free one American but put more at risk? Not any easy question. But if you're someone like Nancy Curtis of Cambridge, Mass., you were never too interested in that debate. You wanted to save your son, Theo Padnos,...

    US won't threaten to prosecute hostages' families for ransom

    Softening longstanding policy, the Obama administration will tell families of Americans held by terror groups that they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution. The shift comes as part of a broad review of U.S. hostage...