The two journalists who were beheaded by Islamic State Jihadists reportedly had their families warned by the US Government that they faced prosecution should they have raised ransom money for the journalists’ release.
Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were executed on camera reportedly by Islamic State Jihadists in retaliation to US involvement in the region. These beheadings launched the present onslaught of US and allied forces on the criminal organization leading to growing victories against the extremists.
The US reportedly told the families of both executed men not to pay any ransoms as it is US policy never to pay ransom to terrorists. The US contends that acquiescing to terrorists with ransom would put Americans all over the globe in jeopardy.
According to the story, a spokesman for the Sotloff’s family stated that the parents of the murdered journalist were told by a a White House counter-terrorism official in May of 2014 that the parents could face prosecution should they pay a ransom to rescue their son. The spokesman, Barak Barfi told Yahoo News, “The family felt completely and utterly helpless when they heard this.”. Barfi continued, “The Sotloffs felt there was nothing they could do to get Steve out.”.
In addition, Barfi stated that the father of Steven Sotloff was “shaking” after the meeting with the National Security Council official.
These comments appear to mirror those of Foley’s mother Diane who told CNN during an interview that her family was warned as well that they could be prosecuted/charged should they too try to ransom their son out of danger.
In addition that family was informed that no prisoners would be exchanged for Foley and that the government would take no military action to rescue him. They reportedly were told not to go to the media and that they should trust that the matter would be taken care of.
Barfi confirmed that the Sotloffs were told the same thing as the Foleys.
Secretary of State John Kerry reacted to the Foley’s revelation on Friday stating that he was “really taken aback” and continue that he was “Totally unaware and would not condone anybody” at the State Department for making such threats.
The White House averted any questions regarding the matter to the Dept. of Justice leaving the public with unanswered questions to the Sotloffs’ and Foleys’ disclosures.