Families of U.S. Hostages Won't Face Prosecution for Paying Ransoms to Terror Groups

President Obama is clearing the way for families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom to terror groups without fear of prosecution, as the White House seeks to address criticism from those whose loved ones have been killed in captivity.
According to U.S. officials, the hostage policy review to be released Wednesday will also state that the U.S. government can help facilitate communications with terrorists on behalf of the families. However, a prohibition on the U.S. government directly paying ransoms or making other concessions to terrorists will remain in place.
Obama will speak about the policies shortly after meeting with the families of Americans who have been held captive. The president ordered the review last year after families complained about their dealings with the administration, saying they were threatened with criminal prosecution if they pursued paying ransom in exchange for their loved ones' release.
Two U.S. officials familiar with the review said there will be no formal change to the law that explicitly makes it a crime to provide money or other material support to terror organizations.



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