Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has demanded that the U.S. government pay $6.6 million in ransom and release a Muslim woman prisoner in exchange for the life and freedom of an American woman the terrorist group is holding hostage.
A representative of the hostage’s family revealed the demand and requested the media not to name the hostage on Tuesday. Washington, DC-based human rights activist Mauri Saalakhan of the Peace and Justice Foundation also revealed the demand in a press conference Monday on behalf of the family of Aafia Siddiqui, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained neuroscientist who was convicted by the U.S. in 2010 for trying to kill U.S. officials in 2008.
The Siddiqui family released a letter through Saalakhan denying their association with ISIS. The family also said they did not want anyone, including the American hostage, to suffer what Aafia is suffering.
Saalakhan said the Siddiqui family wrote a letter to ISIS urging the group to release the woman hostage.
Last week, ISIS released a YouTube video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley as a warning to the U.S. for its airstrikes on ISIS targets in northern Iraq. In the same video, Foley’s executioner also showed another American hostage, journalist Steven Sotloff, whom they threatened to execute if President Barack Obama does not order the airstrikes to stop.
The U.S. military, however, continues its bombing of ISIS targets in northern Iraq and is poised to do the same to ISIS members in Syria.