ISIS demands ransom for American woman
$6.6 million in exchange for the life of 25-year old aid worker …but will we pay it?
ISIS is ready to take another victim.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that ISIS has threatened the life of a third (living) hostage, this time a 26 year-old female American aid worker who was kidnapped last year during a humanitarian mission to Syria. (A representative of the family asked that she not be identified.) Militants have demanded $6.6 million and a reciprocal release of prisoners in exchange for her return.
Via ABC News:
She is the third of at least four Americans who were known to be held by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. American journalist James Foley was executed by the group in a video that appeared online last week. Another writer, Steven Sotloff, was seen alive but under duress in the same footage.
In addition to the multi-million dollar ransom, the terror group has also demanded that the U.S. release Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist who was convicted by the U.S. in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials two years before, according to a supporter of Siddiqui who has been in contact with the hostage’s family.
This isn’t the first time ISIS has made a hefty ransom demand. Reports following the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley revealed that ISIS offered the United States the option of paying a multimillion dollar ransom in exchange for his return.
In contrast with the French, the Spanish, the Germans, the Italians, and the Swiss, the United States does not negotiate with foreign aggressors via the payment of ransom. However, this contrast between the United States (and Britain, though Britain has negotiated in the past) and other western powers, coupled with the sheer amount of money some European countries have handed over in exchange for their hostages, has caused tension:
Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its affiliates, which have earned at least $125 million in ransom payments in the past five years alone, according to an investigation by The Times. Although ISIS was recently expelled from Al Qaeda and abides by different rules, recently freed prisoners said that their captors were well aware of what ransoms had been paid on behalf of European citizens held by Qaeda affiliates as far afield as Africa, indicating that they were hoping to abide by the same business plan.
U.S. policy is based on the belief that paying ransoms only emboldens terrorists, but some worry that this will lead to more Americans dead at the hands of terrorists. Adding to the tension caused by this latest hostage situation is the “known unknown” of the affect American surveillance and potential action in Syria will affect how ISIS agents choose to engage American interests.
ISIS agents claimed that James Foley was executed because of American attacks against ISIS, and as of last week, 54% of Americans approved of Barack Obama’s decision to launch airstrikes against Iraqi insurgents. But what happens to that number if ISIS decides to publicly execute Steven Sotloff, or the unnamed American aid worker? The Obama Administration is sensitive to optics above all else, and the chances of their greatest hope for the Presidency in 2016 rests on not only how she reacts to emerging foreign policy concerns, but also on how the public reacts.
If the Obama Administration loses focus on its mission to destroy ISIS, we’re going to see a lot more than three dead hostages.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
“a female American aid worker who was kidnapped last year during a humanitarian mission to Syria.”
Uh huh. Buh bye, lady.
At least you can keep your *dreamy ideals*, if not your head.
It may not be politically correct to say but I will say it anyway. If you climb into the polar bear’s cage expect to be eaten! No matter the reason that these people go to these terribly dangerous places they know the risks and should learn to live with it. Just like the avid mountain climbers who get themselves into big trouble and then expect rescue workers to risk their lives to save them. And then they go right back up and do it again. There is also the main reason to NOT pay ransom and that is that taking hostages then becomes a financial arm of ISIS that has no end.
Those who know American history realize full well that we have been there and played this game before with Islamists, in our very first days as a nation. In those days they were known as the Barbary Pirates who made a fortune stalking the Mediterranean seizing ships and selling their crews into slavery. All of the European nations paid them off. Thomas Jefferson had a different idea. He built the first American Navy and sent them against the Barbary Pirates. It was at this time that the Marines Hymn refers to with the “shores of Tripoli”. (Yes – we won! And yes – the Europeans were mad as all get out.)
Too bad we don’t have a Thomas Jefferson willing to put a stop to this garbage today.
Indeed, Jeffersom can be considered the first President to confront, and, to be cognizant of, the threat posed by the ideology of Submission. He obtained a copy of the Qu’ran so that he could attempt to understand what was motivating the pirates’ behavior. This is same copy of the Qu’ran which the vile Representative Keith Ellison — evincing a total ignorance of history, or, alternatively, consciously attempting to spin his own dishonest multicultural narrative — chose to use for his swearing-in ceremony, thus forging the myth that Jefferson owned a copy of the Qu’ran because he admired Submission, when, in truth, he was attempting to understand its wayward followers.
“Mohammed!, you execrable bastard…I read your book…!”: Thomas Jefferson.
Sorry, that phrase was not uttered by Thomas Jefferson, no matter however appropriate it would have been.
Indeed. I say, pay the ranson, let the little satans go home…. get the girl….
Track the money, track the little satans (knock them out, implant them with GPS), nuke them after goldilocks is safely out of harm’s way.
That’s what you call, a “pyrrhic” victory. Jefferson would be proud.
Seems like an administration who is so gung-ho for tax money might take this opportunity to track this stream of funding down and divert it to a more worthy cause. I’m normally against civil fortiture, but I might be able to get behind a few tens of millions of dollars evaporating out of ISIS’s bank accounts.
“Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its affiliates, which have earned at least $125 million in ransom payments…”
Really? Is that the best the wordsmiths at The Times can come up with…???
The terrorist pirates “EARNED at least”…??? How about “extracted” or “extorted” or any number of other terms?
They didn’t “earn” anything, except a very swift death.
Another thought: there is an economic law which says if you want to increase the supply of something, you subsidize it.
That seems to apply, does it not?
Europe has managed the almost magical feat of not only increasing the number of kidnappings for ransom, but simultaneously driving the ransom cost per kidnapping up exponentially…
Simple solution: prisoner exchange out in the open.
U.S. helicopter lands, convict neuro-scientist gets out with a duffel bag of Monopoly money (with a few thousand on top to look legit), walks toward the ISIS crowd. Girl walks away from the ISIS crowd to the helicopter.
As soon as she’s on board and taking off, pre-positioned snipers take the head of neuro-scientist (and any other targets of opportunity), and a Predator drone turns their vehicle(s) into burning scrap.
Or, I suppose, the helicopter could do it, too.
Geez, the Sec of State would have you think this is difficult.