September 17, 2014

Despite Beheadings, U.S. Against Hostage Ransoms

Featuring Julianne Smith

Source: Naharnet

xecutions by jihadists have not changed Washington's opposition to paying hostage ransoms, leaving it at odds with the European allies it hopes will join the fight against extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Several European nations are believed to have secretly paid millions of dollars to save their nationals, including some held by the Islamic State group that beheaded two U.S. journalists.

U.S. President Barack Obama has privately vented his frustration about the practice, according to the New York Times.

The paper said that during private a chat with media columnists, Obama expressed "irritation" with French President Francois Holland over his alleged negotiations with extremist groups.

Obama reportedly suggested Paris does indeed pay. France formally denies the payment of ransoms.

The remarks highlight pronounced differences between how U.S. and British authorities address demands by extremists, including IS, and how their European counterparts do.

Read the full article at Agence France-Presse

  • Julianne Smith

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a contributing editor to Fo...