After a series of recent interviews, members of the Foley family have said the government threatened to prosecute their family if they had raised and paid the money for the ransom sought for the life of their son, James Foley.
According to ABC News, Diane Foley, the mother of James, said they were threatened with lawsuits multiple times if they had gone through with paying the ransom. “We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling.”
Diane then said a highly decorated military officer, who serves on the National Security Council, came to their house to warn them about the pending prosecutions.
“Three times he intimidated us with that message,” said Diane. “We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try.”
A current NSC member said the military officer who went to the Foley house had, “no business,” talking to the family and these discussions were “idiotic.” This same current NSC member said the officer was unqualified to discuss legal issues and should have stayed away from the family.
Michael Foley, James’s brother, confirmed these accusations against the government with FOX News.
“I was specifically threatened by the Department of State about raising funds towards ransom demands for my brother,” said Michael. “[The government] were actually an impedance… We were smart enough to look past it but it slowed us down.”
Diane also told CNN, she was told to have faith her son would be freed and be safe. “We were just told to trust that he would be freed somehow, miraculously… And he wasn’t, was he?”
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden did defend the position of prosecuting the Foley family. “Without getting into the details of our private discussions with families,” said Hayden, “the law is clear that ransom payments to designated individuals or entities, such as ISIL [ISIS], are prohibited. It is also a matter of longstanding policy that the U.S. does not grant concessions to hostage takers.”