The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) had demanded millions of dollars for freeing journalist James Foley, according to media reports quoting his family and a former employer.
The amount was $100 million, as stated by The New York Times, though The Wall Street Journal said it was $132.5 million.
The United States, which has an established policy of not paying ransom for its abducted citizens or negotiating with terrorists, did not meet Foley's captors' demand.
Also read: Search on for capturing the masked man who beheaded James Foley
Philip Balboni, the president and chief executive of GlobalPost, an online news site that used Foley's works, told The Wall Street Journal that Foley's captors had asked for a ransom from both the family and GlobalPost of 100 million euros ($132.5 million).
He told the paper that all communications with the captors were shared with US authorities.
It wasn't known if the ISIS had made a similar demand for releasing the other American journalist it's holding, Steven Sotloff, whose life, according to the executioner in the Foley beheading video, now depends on the US response to their demand to end military strikes in Iraq. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," he had said.
The United States has continued to hit ISIS positions. There were six strikes on Thursday, said the Central Command in a statement, taking up the total since August 8 to 90.
Also read: The face of terror: What is Islamic State and what it wants
While the United States and Britain have refused to either negotiate with terrorists or pay ransom for their abducted citizens, other countries don't have a problem. Spanish and French governments, for instance, are reported to have paid massive sums for their citizens last spring.
The New York Times said kidnapping Europeans has become a profitable business for al Qaeda, which, the paper said, may have made $135 million from ransoms in the last five years.