America identified a 26-year-old woman the Islamic State (IS) is holding in Syria, but the family asked for her identity to remain a secret. IS sent out a $6.6 million ransom and US prisoners in exchange for the woman. The US knows IS currently holds three American hostages.
The terrorist group abducted her on August 4, 2013. She was in Syria for humanitarian work and the three humanitarian groups were not identified. Along with the money, IS demands the US release neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, a graduate of MIT. A jury convicted her in 2010 “of trying to kill U.S. officials two years before.” Other groups who oppose a US presence in the Middle East also call for Siddiqui’s release. On July 4, a petition was started on the White House website to demand her release. However, her family does not want anyone harmed in her name.
“If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions,” said Siddiqui’s family. “We believe in a struggle that is peaceful and dignified. Associating Aafia’s name with acts of violence is against everything we are struggling for. While we deeply appreciate the sincere feelings of those who, like us, wish to see the freedom of our beloved Aafia, we cannot agree with a ‘by any means necessary’ approach to Aafia’s freedom. Nor can we accept that someone else’s daughter or sister suffer like Aafia is suffering.”
American journalist James Foley was captured in Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012. IS murdered him on film and released it via YouTube. After he was slaughtered, the murderer propped up Steven Sotloff, a journalist from Miami, and said President Barack Obama’s next move against IS will determine Sotloff’s fate. It was a demand to stop airstrikes against IS in Iraq.
Nusra Front, another jihadist group in Syria, released Peter Theo Curtis after two years. Qatar negotiated his release with the terrorists, but no ransom was paid.