Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, the journalist publicly beheaded by Islamic Statemilitants in 2014, is calling for lawmakers to reexamine thecountry’s hostage policy during a House hearing Tuesday.
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee onÂ Terrorism,Nonproliferation and TradeÂ gathered to discuss potentialsolutions for terrorism financing, including groups likeISISÂ and al-Qaida kidnapping hostages for ransom.
Foley saysÂ she feelsÂ the government should havebeen directly engaging and negotiating with Islamic State to ensureher son would return home.
“I am very aware of our U.S. public policy of noconcessions to terrorists, to include no ransom or release ofprisoners,” sheÂ said, adding she realizesit’s a complex situation and doesn’t want to fundterrorism. “However, our policy also states that the UnitedStates will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe returnof American citizens who are held hostage by terrorists.”
Foley saysÂ she and her family tried to raise theransom, despite the legal ramifications, but were too late to reachtheir demands.
Rep. Brad Sherman saysÂ while he understands whereFoley is coming from, it would just be a matter of time before moreAmericans were killed if ISIS receives ransoms.
“I feel bad saying it, but I don’t think we shouldbe allowing paying ransom to terrorist organizations,”heÂ said.
The California Democrat cited the situation as a reason the U.S.should not support the Iran nuclear deal.
“We need to sanction Iran for holding five Americanhostages, the president made it clear the deal in Geneva relatedonly to nuclear weapons,” he said. “And if any othercountry was five of our hostages we would certainly sanctionthem.”
After her son’s death, Foley established the James W.Foley Legacy Foundation. Foley says she is tryingtoÂ raise funds to support American families who aredealing with similar hostage situations, but would like to gofurther by raising money to get victims home.