US officials today admitted that in 2012, the FBI helped the family of aid worker Warren Weinstein attempt to pay ransom to some Pakistani middlemen to try to secure the release of the hostage.
The FBI is said to have vetted the middlemen, and helped to enable the exchange of money, though Weinstein was not released, and was ultimately killed in a US drone strike in January.
Officials say the FBI didn’t “authorize” the payment but simply facilitated it, though this itself appears to be a stark contradiction to US policy in other hostage-takings across the Middle East.
Diane Foley, the mother of slain hostage James Foley, said she was repeatedly threatened by the Obama Administration for trying to ransom her son, with officials threatening to prosecute her for paying the hostage-takers.
The administration has since insisted they intend to stop prosecuting families for trying to secure the release of their relatives, though this latest announcement suggests they’ve already gone far beyond that.