A still image taken from a purported Islamic State video released September 13, 2014 of British captive David Haines before he is beheaded. Reuters
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Executions by jihadists have not changed Washington's opposition to paying hostage ransoms, leaving it at odds with the European allies it hopes will join the fight against extremists in Iraq and Syria.Several European nations are believed to have secretly paid millions of dollars to save their nationals, including some held by the Al-Qaeda breakaway group ISIS, which beheaded two U.S. journalists.The remarks highlight pronounced differences between how U.S. and British authorities address demands by extremists, including ISIS, and how their European counterparts do.U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines, have been beheaded by an ISIS militant, and several Syrian reporters have been executed.Some now criticize the no-ransom policy, warning that refusal to negotiate has brought the U.S. closer to war.U.S. officials insist Washington's position has made groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS less keen to take Americans hostage.
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