Kidnappers demanded $132.5M for Foley

Alana Semuels
Los Angeles Times

New York – — Before executing James Foley, the militant group Islamic State sent an email demanding $132.5 million in exchange for the return of the kidnapped journalist, the director of the website GlobalPost said Thursday.

Foley was working for GlobalPost when he disappeared in Syria in November 2012. A video surfaced Tuesday showing him kneeling in the desert and then being killed. The video explained that the killing was retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State.

Philip Balboni, president and chief executive of the website, did not comment on how GlobalPost responded to the ransom demand. However, he has said that the demand was forwarded to the proper authorities.

The United States and Britain have a policy of not negotiating with militants.

But the policy is being questioned in the wake of Foley’s killing. Although U.S. special operations forces had tried this summer to rescue hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, the mission was not successful.

The FBI and federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into the beheading of Foley, with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. vowing Thursday that those responsible for the videotaped slaying will be held responsible.

Associated Press and Chicago Tribune contributed.