Militants of Islamic State (IS) reportedly demanded to release Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a female Pakistani scientist and others extradited to the United States, in exchange for American photojournalist James Foley and other Western hostages, reported The Independent on Friday.
According to the report, the family of Foley received an email from IS, in which it claimed that it had offered “prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your (U.S.) detention”, including Dr Afia Sidiqqui.
Isis’ letter claimed that despite it offering prisoner exchanges to free those currently in US detention like Dr Afia Sidiqqi, the government “proved very quickly that this is NOT what you are interested in”, added the report.
Dr Sidiqqui, 42, a neuroscientist was sentenced to 86 years in prison after being convicted of attempting to kill US military personnel in 2010.
According to The GlobalPost Foley’s family received their first message from his captors on 26 November 2013, asking for money, “fast,” after more than a year without contact.
“After the militants had proved to the Foleys and investigators that they were in fact holding Jim, they made their sole demand for a ransom of 100 million euros (about $132 million) or the release of unspecified prisoners held by the United States,” the news-site said.
In a video released this week by IS, Foley is shown being beheaded by a militant.
The militant also threatened the life of another journalist Steven Sotloff while addressing the US President, saying: “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”
The footage claimed Foley’s death is a revenge killing for the ongoing US air strikes in Iraq.
On Thursday, the Pentagon warned IS presents a greater threat to the US than al-Qa’ida and must be defeated whereas US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel described them as “beyond just a terrorist group”. He said: “They marry ideology, a sophistication of […] military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we’ve seen.”