By Thomas Madison
This is rich! Middle Eastern
con artists middle men who claim to be representing Daesh (I found out they hate being called “Daesh,” so I will no longer refer to them as ISIS) are offering the body of American James Foley for $1 million. The only catch is they have to have the money up front. THEN they will provide DNA proving the authenticity of the remains. Uh-huh. No doubt Elvis and Santa Claus will deliver the remains in a pink Cadillac.
I love this line, the funniest I have heard this year. One
con artist middle man claimed that it wasn’t about the money. It was all about “his motivation to help the grieving family find closure.” LOL!
From Mike Giglio, BuzzFeed
ANTAKYA, Turkey — Middlemen with ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have turned to a grim new method of trying to secure funds in recent days. With the group having failed to strike deals to ransom the U.S. hostages in its custody — instead beheading three of them since July — its intermediaries are now trying to negotiate the sale of the body of at least one of the men it killed.
Three sources in contact with ISIS or its associates told BuzzFeed News that it wants to sell the remains of James Foley, the U.S. journalist whose August death was the first in a series of high-profile executions of Western hostages by ISIS hands.
They said ISIS wants $1 million for Foley’s body, which it would deliver across the border to Turkey, and that the group was willing to provide a DNA sample to facilitate a deal.
If true, the attempted sale would highlight the ruthlessness behind the hostage-taking enterprise that has provided ISIS with deep reservoirs of funds and publicity — as well as the group’s cold calculation as it works to raise more cash.
At one point early this year, ISIS held 23 Western hostages in Syria. Fifteen Europeans were freed as governments reportedly paid millions of dollars in ransoms, but the British and American hostages remained. Both governments refuse to negotiate for hostages or to allow families to pay ransoms. In the months since Foley’s death, ISIS has released videotaped executions of the U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, the British aid worker Alan Henning, and the U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig. British journalist John Cantlie and a U.S. woman, a 26-year-old aid worker, remain in ISIS hands.
All three of the sources seeking to act as middlemen in a deal with the secretive extremists have been granted anonymity to protect their safety.
One, a former Syrian rebel fighter, has ties to ISIS commanders dating to the early stages of Syria’s civil war. He said he has served as an intermediary in hostage negotiations with Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, and with ISIS. One day this fall, to prove his bona fides in the murky trade, he opened his iPhone to display unpublished videos of Western hostages in Nusra’s custody.
This former rebel said he was approached by an ISIS leader who asked him to find a channel to either the U.S. government or Foley’s family. Like the other sources, he noted a price of $1 million and the promise of DNA. “They ask for $1 million, and they will send DNA to Turkey, but they want the money first,” he said. “They will not give the DNA without the money.”
He claimed his motivation was to help the grieving family find closure, calling his work “a humanity case.”
Another intermediary, a businessman who has sought to use his own ISIS connections to facilitate hostage deals in the past, was candid about his goals: “This is business.”