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Published On: Wed, Aug 27th, 2014

American female aid worker held by ISIS for $6.6 million ransom, release of Aafia Siddiqui

The Islamic State has a female hostage and is now blackmailing America for her release. $6.6 million and the release of a prisoner is the current price for the unidentfied American aid worker.

The Sunni Muslim terror group has demanded that the U.S. release Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist who was convicted by the U.S. in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials two years earlier.

Islamic State flag

Islamic State flag

A representative for the family and U.S. officials asked that the woman not be identified out of fear for her safety. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly. She is believed to be an aid worker assisting refugees in Syria during the violent civil war, a source tells The Global Dispatch.

This is the wake of the execution of journalist James Foley in an IS video and threats to murder a second journalist. A third hostage, Peter Theo Curtis, has reportedly been released after nearly two years in captivity.

Siddiqui’s release has been a regular demand of groups critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, but Monday Siddiqui’s family spoke out through supporters to say they were “very distraught” Siddiqui’s name was invoked with the ransom request and sought to distance themselves from ISIS.

“If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions,” reads a letter written by Siddiqui’s family. “We believe in a struggle that is peaceful and dignified. Associating Aafia’s name with acts of violence is against everything we are struggling for.”

“While we deeply appreciate the sincere feelings of those who, like us, wish to see the freedom of our beloved Aafia, we cannot agree with a ‘by any means necessary’ approach to Aafia’s freedom. Nor can we accept that someone else’s daughter or sister suffer like Aafia is suffering,” the letter says.

The Siddiqui family has been “traumatized by the thoughts that someone else could be harmed in the name of Aafia,” said Mauri Saalakhan of the Peace and Justice Foundation, who held a press conference Monday and spoke on behalf of the Siddiqui family.

“They’re opposed to it. In their letter to ISIS they made it very clear, this is not the way, these are not the conditions under which we want our loved ones released,” Saalakhan said. “Nor did they want harm to come to anyone else’s loved one in the name of Aafia… They conveyed that message loud and clear.

“The most important message that I could convey to ISIS or whoever it is that’s holding these innocent people captive abroad is that at the end of the day, this type of approach in response to an injustice that you feel, is not only not the inappropriate way to go, but, properly understood, it is a violation of the tenets of the faith that we claim to believe in,” he said. “We just have to do the right thing because it is the right thing, without any strings attached.. And the right thing would be to let this young woman go back to her family, go back to her life. And the right thing for America to do, for our government… would be to do the same with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.”

The details of the ISIS ransom demand and the abduction of the young aid worker were disclosed by Saalakhan and a close friend of the unnamed hostage family in statements to ABC News Monday.

In its annual report last November, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimated at least 30 journalists have been kidnapped or have disappeared in Syria.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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