President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the government will no longer threaten to criminally prosecute families of American hostages who pay ransom to get loved ones back from such groups as ISIS —just one of several policy changes following a multi-month examination of how the government operates in situations when Americans abroad are held captive by terrorist organizations.
“The families have told us and told me directly about their frequent frustrations in dealing with their own government,” the president said on Wednesday adding “That’s totally unacceptable.”
…The president also underscored that the administration still believes in a no-concessions policy in dealing with terrorists but makes clear for the first time that “no concessions” does not mean “no communication.”
…”The U.S. government may itself communicate with hostage-takers, their intermediaries, interested governments, and local communities to attempt to secure the safe recovery of the hostage,” according to a statement from the White House.
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