Monday, September 12, 2016

In a Shift, U.S. Includes Families in Hostage Rescue Efforts



... Perhaps most important, the government has designated officials — many of them senior — to talk with the families. During the period starting in mid-2014 when the Islamic State was beheading large numbers of captives, family members repeatedly complained that they did not know who in the American government was in charge or whom to call with questions. Many times, they received conflicting information.

Among the families who criticized the government’s actions was that of the slain journalist James Foley. The family did not learn of his beheading in 2014 until being told by a reporter. Mr. Foley’s mother accused the government of showing a lack of compassion and threatening prosecution if the family paid a ransom. She was not consulted before the military attempted a failed raid in Syria to save her son.

The improvements since then seemed to be clear to Sam Farran, 55, a security consultant who was freed last year after being abducted and brutalized in Yemen. “My family says the F.B.I. was good,” he said.

“They were on the phone with them on a daily basis,” he added. “So that provided some relief that they were engaged. This is one good thing.”

Read the full article from the NYTimes.com [HERE].  

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