The brother of murdered American photojournalist James Foley believes President Barack Obama’s administration should have done more to save Foley’s life since he was kidnapped in Syria two years ago.
“There’s more that could have been done directly on Jim’s behalf,” Michael Foley told Yahoo’s Katie Couric on Friday morning.
James Foley was beheaded by ISIS jihadists in a video released earlier this week. It was subsequently reported that the militant group had demanded $US132 million for his release and that the U.S. once attempted a rescue mission on his behalf.
Michael Foley told Couric he hoped his brother’s death would motivate the U.S. to rethink its hostage policy and consider agreeing to at least some demands to free its citizens. It’s difficult for the U.S. to refuse to pay for the release of its hostages, he argued, when European countries do exactly that.
“The thing that I’m really, really frustrated by, Katie — and I don’t know if I even should get into this — but … the United States could have done more on behalf of the American and Western hostages over there,” he said. “I really, really, really hope that, in some way, Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy, to terrorists and hostage negotiations and rethink that. Because if the United States is doing it one way and Europe is doing it another way, by definition it won’t work.”
U.S. officials argue that giving into ransom demands inevitably backfires and keeps terrorist organisations well-funded. According to the New York Times, Al Qaeda and its affiliates have earned $US125 million in the past five years alone from such payments.
Foley’s parents, Diane and John Foley, also gave an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday morning.
View the Yahoo interview below.
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