WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — A U.S. official told the Associated Press Thursday the Islamic State militants who beheaded American journalist James Foley in Syria had demanded $132.5 million — or 100 million Euros– in ransom for his release.
A second American official told the AP the demands were sent in emails to Foley’s family in Rochester, New Hampshire.
Both officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ransom demands by name.
The story was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.
Foley’s former employer, Boston-based GlobalPost, said Wednesday that the militants first demanded money late last year.
GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni said his news organization had hired a security firm to search for Foley. In September 2013 they found out where he was being held in Syria with several other Western journalists.
Balboni said Foley’s captors had sent emails beginning last fall that included political and financial demands. The European journalists who were being held were released when ransom was paid.
The emails sent by the kidnappers to Foley’s family and Global Post last week made no demands and only threatened Foley’s execution.
U.S. policy prohibits the government negotiating with terrorists, including paying ransom.
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