The Secret Civilian Effort to save American ISIS Hostages

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What would you do if a loved one were taken hostage overseas? For the families of five Americans held in Syria, the answer was "anything and everything." Then they ran up against American law.

In May of last year, "Five American families, each harboring a grave secret, took their seats around a dining table… in Washington, DC." That's the beginning of a lengthy story on the web site of the New Yorker magazine about families whose children had been captured by terrorist groups in Syria. They felt that "US officials had abandoned them. So they secretly joined forces." Lawrence Wright is the reporter.

Journalist James Foley with his one of his ISIS captors
Photo by Elmar Eye


Special thanks to Paul von Zielbauer  for production assistance.