State Dept: No Negotiations With Terrorist Groups

(Washington, DC) -- State Department spokesperson Marie Harf insists the U.S. government does not negotiate with terrorists. In a news briefing, Harf said that includes ransom demands. She was pressed about ISIS demands for ransoms for captive westerners. Harf noted that ISIS uses kidnapping and ransom to help fund its operations abroad. The Islamic militant group demanded a hefty ransom for veteran American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded this week.
ISIS is also holding U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and has threatened to kill him if U.S. airstrikes in Iraq are not halted. Meantime, Harf said the U.S. continues working with allies to choke off all sources of funding to ISIS. She was pressed about a failed U.S. military mission to rescue Foley and others in Syria, earlier this summer. Harf noted that gathering good intelligence in war zones is very difficult. U.S. officials say the mission was unsuccessful because the hostages weren't at the targeted location.