NEW INFO: 26-Year-Old Woman Is 3rd American Held Hostage By ISIS
Fox News has learned that a 26-year-old female aid worker is being held by ISIS. The unidentified woman, said to be from the West Coast, is the third known American hostage to be identified.
She was kidnapped while doing relief work in Syria a year ago.
Islamic State militants are reportedly demanding $6.6 million and the release of a U.S. prisoner before they will free a third American hostage held by the group, an unidentified 26-year-old woman.
ABC News reports that the woman, whose relatives have requested she not be identified, is the third of at least four Americans known to be held by the extremist Muslim organization. American journalist James Foley was executed by the group in a video that circulated online last week. Steven Sotloff, formerly of Miami, Florida, was also seen alive in the same footage and purportedly remains in Islamic State custody.
The terror organization also has demanded that U.S. authorities release Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials two years earlier. Siddiqui, 42, who reportedly married a nephew of Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003, was later sentenced to 86 years in prison. The Karachi native, who was educated in the United States and earned degrees from M.I.T. and Brandeis University, remains in federal custody in Texas.
Siddiqui’s relatives, meanwhile, sought to distance themselves from the militants, saying they were “very distraught” to be linked in any way with Islamic State, ABC News reports.
“If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions,” according to a letter written by Siddiqui’s relatives. “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.”
Siddiqui’s relatives, according to the letter, said they cannot agree with a “by any means necessary” approach to her freedom.
A U.S. State Department spokesman declined comment on the matter when reached by FoxNews.com early Tuesday.
Mauri Saalakhan, of The Peace and Justice Foundation, said Siddiqui's relatives are "opposed" to any connection to the militants during a press conference Monday.
“In their letter to ISIS they made it very clear, this is not the way, these are not the conditions under which we want our loved ones released," he told ABC News. "Nor did they want harm to come to anyone else’s loved one in the name of Aafia … They conveyed that message loud and clear.”
The Outnumbered panel discussed what the next move will be from President Obama to deal with ISIS. Radio host David Webb said the administration looks "rudderless" at this point and is failing to put forth any clear strategy on how to move forward on defeating the terrorist army.
He argued that enemies of the United States are emboldened when they see the U.S. hesitate. Webb also criticized the president for playing golf right after the murder of James Foley, arguing that the timing sends a message to the world that American leadership is lacking.
As for the hostages, Webb said the tough reality is that the U.S. cannot negotiate with terrorists and therefore, these Americans will probably not be returned.
Watch the discussion above.