White House: No concessions to hostage takers
August 21st, 2014
02:23 PM ET
3 months ago

White House: No concessions to hostage takers

Edgartown, Massachusetts (CNN) - National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden tells CNN that U.S. policy on ransom for hostage takers is clear. She said Thursday that it "does not grant concessions to hostage takers.”

“Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive," she said.

Hayden made the comments following the beheading of American journalist James Foley, and after questions were raised about a possible ransom demand from the Islamic militant group that held him.

Hayden says last year the Obama administration, in conjunction with Britain, built a consensus for a strong policy statement from a Group of Eight summit against paying ransom.

The statement said: “We unequivocally reject the payment of ransom to terrorists.”

The G8 statement, Hayden noted, also endorsed the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists.”

Hayden pointed out that the U.S. government offers assistance to states seeking alternatives to paying ransom.

The American assistance includes training for police forces on how to respond to terrorist kidnappings.


Filed under: Iraq • White House
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. it must be said

    Yes, no ransom. Just tell them how many terrorists you want released from Gitmo! No valid offers refused.

    August 21, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Tone

    Mr President keep bombing do not let up if there is colaterals oh! well your nick name now is Obomba keep bombing Mr President

    August 21, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Just nuke the entire region and be done with it.

    August 21, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. salty dog

    Imbs, another insightful, intelligent contribution, thanks so much.

    August 21, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. salty dog

    Hysterical to hear all the rwnj critic Obama's foreign policy decisions, like they are privy to all the info he gets, from intelligence agencies, foreign policy advisors: but, much like everything else, they've got it all figured out, too funny!

    August 21, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. it must be said

    Hayden pointed out that the U.S. government offers assistance to states seeking alternatives to paying ransom.
    ---

    Yes, it's called a meeting with Allah compliments of a SEAL team. 77 virgins not included.

    August 21, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – Take Back the House

    Just nuke the entire region and be done with it.
    ----------
    Maybe we should send the orchestra to play music... wasn't that your answer to North Korea when GWB was president?

    August 21, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. just asking

    salty dog
    Imbs, another insightful, intelligent contribution, thanks so much.
    ---

    looks like the truth stings a little huh? obama has negotiated with terrorists and the currency was five terrorist leaders for a suspected deserter/traitor. some negotiator that obama! leave no deserter-traitor behind.

    August 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Raven

    Five terrorists is not ransom?

    August 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Hey, conservatives. Remember this?

    "If you're not with us [the White House], then you're with the terrorists." George W. Bush.

    August 21, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Chipster

    @it must be said
    There is a huge difference between prisoners of war and hostages. Trading prisoners to bring a soldier home is not a concession. It is a prisoner exchange. GWB released 500 Gitmo prisoners, many of whom were active militants and expected to return to the battlefield. At least we got one of our soldiers in return with the recent exchange.

    August 21, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Todd Perry

    What a load of bull. He lies yet again to American's faces as usual. He just released a bunch of Al-Qaeda terrorist leaders in exchange for a awol soldier so this is more propaganda as usual.

    August 21, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Ol' Yeller

    Looks like some of our mentally challenged friends on the right are still confusing POW exchanges with terrorist negotiations.... I guess they also have forgotten they are supposed to be the party who supports the troops while we are the troop haters...
    It gets so confusing for them due to their utter lack of any real principles.

    Pssstttt... when you have principles and beliefs righties, you don't have to have a foreign owned propaganda network tell you how to think or what to say or what you 'believe in' (today).

    August 21, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    Hey, conservatives. Remember this?

    "If you're not with us [the White House], then you're with the terrorists." George W. Bush.
    -----------
    With all the talk of "2nd amendment solutions" and violent take over of the government, and domestic terror, I cannot help but think many in the Tea Party are cheering for the terrorists abroad.

    August 21, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    it must be said
    I know, why don't you grab your pop gun head right over there, and take care of this issue. When you leave it will raise the IQ of both countries.

    August 21, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |