ISIL has identified a third American hostage, a 26-year-old American woman who had been doing humanitarian relief work in Syria before being kidnapped a year ago, ABC News has reported. In exchange for her life, the group is demanding $6.6 million and the release of U.S. prisoners.
The woman, who had been working in a hospital in Aleppo, is the third of at least four Americans known to be held by the terror group. She was identified by her family, though the family requested not to release her name. The other known Americans include journalists Steven Sotloff and the late James Foley.
In addition to the multi-million dollar ransom, but ISIL asked for the U.S. to release Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist who in 2010 was convicted of trying to kill U.S. officials. Siddiqui's family has released a statement condemning ISIL's violent demands (using "ISIS," the group's alternate name):
If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions... 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.
Mauri Saalakhan of the Peace and Justice Foundation held a press conference Monday and spoke on behalf of the Siddiqui family. Saalakhan stated the following:
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.
Meanwhile, authorities are still working to identify the man in the video of Foley's execution. The U.S. military has continued to bomb against ISIS in Iraq, and President Obama has approved surveillance strikes over Syria, reported The New York Times.