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Congressman Neal: U.S. Should Maintain No Ransom Policy Despite Beheadings

Jim Levulis

The terrorist group Islamic State has beheaded three Westerners held captive in the past month, including two Americans. Western Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal says the United States should maintain its no ransom policy.While other nations do make monetary offers for citizens being held, the U.S. does not. Families of those who have been killed, two American journalists and a British aid worker, had independently reached out to the Islamic State asking for their release. On WAMC’s Congressional Corner, Neal says it’s tough on families, but U.S. policy should not change.

“In our case here, I just don’t think you can submit to ransom because then there will be whole-scale kidnappings everywhere and it’ll be an effort made by jihadists who incidentally in my judgment are not going to be satisfied by anything that Western democracies offer as they attempt to build this caliphate,” said Neal.

The Islamic State has threatened to kill another British aid worker the group is holding hostage. Following the deaths, it was announced U.S. military forces tried to rescue the hostages in July.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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