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  • Jordan prepared to exchange prisoner for pilot held by Islamic State

    The Wall Street Journal - 01/28/2015

    The U.S. and U.K. have urged their allies not to pay ransoms to Islamic State and other militant groups. But Spain and France are believed to have made payoffs of up to millions of dollars each for the release last year of citizens held by Islamic State, according to the militants and some Western diplomats. The governments publicly denied doing so.

    Max Abrahms, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston and an expert on militant groups, said hostage deals give militant groups credibility and encourage more hostage-taking.

    “It is a great way to free up some of the bigger names in prison, and we could see more demands like this,” Mr. Abrahms said.

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