Obama orders policy review on terrorist-related hostage issues

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2014 23:17 IST

President Barack Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of how the US deals with terrorist-related hostage issues in view of a recent spike such cases, each ending horrifically.

The Daily Beast, which first reported the review, did not say if it would include the fundamental US principle of not negotiating a hostage’s release in exchange for ransom of prisoners.

This review, as cited in a letter a senior Pentagon official wrote to a US lawmaker, will focus on “family engagement, intelligence collection and diplomatic engagement”.

Family of Jim Foley, the western civilian beheaded by ISIS, had complained to Obama that the government had not done enough.

The US had launched a special ops mission, which failed to find Foley or any of the other hostages — five would be beheaded by the ISIS over the next few months.

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, a former US army Ranger, became the fifth past Sunday, along with 14 Syrian military personnel.

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