The federal government will stop threatening families with criminal prosecution for attempting to pay ransom for loved ones taken hostage by terrorist groups, President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday in an executive order clarifying and changing the way the government handles hostage situations.
The sweeping new policy is due to “an idiot” at the Department of State, an official close to the review process told The Daily Caller News Foundation– and “it’s going to encourage more kidnappings of U.S. service members and U.S. diplomats stationed abroad, and it’s going to make Americans targets.”
“All this because an idiot opened her mouth out of place and someone told the media,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with press, told TheDCNF. “It’s going to encourage more kidnappings of U.S. service members and U.S. diplomats stationed abroad, and it’s going to make Americans targets.”
By law, the government cannot make concessions to terrorist groups, but the executive order will clarify that federal agents can communicate and negotiate with captors on a family’s behalf– and that families who try to ransom a loved one will not be punished, The New York Times says the report will decide.
The Department of Justice “does not intend to add to the families’ pain in such cases by suggesting they could face criminal prosecution,” an official told the Times.
The changes are the result of an extensive review of federal policy regarding hostages abroad. Obama ordered the review in December after frustrated family members of current and former hostages complained about the process, and in light of changing national security realities, such as the rise of ISIS, since the policy was written in 2000. (RELATED: American Deaths Spark Dispute Over Official Hostage Policy)
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