A 26-year-old American woman is the third known hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group in Syria, family members and U.S. officials revealed Monday.
The woman is one of at least three hostages kidnapped by ISIS in Syria. Last week, U.S. journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in 2012 in Syria, was beheaded in a video released by the extremist group as a response to American airstrikes in Iraq. The other hostage is journalist Steven Sotloff, shown to be alive in the same video in which Foley was killed.
The woman, whose identity is not being disclosed for safety reasons, was working with several humanitarian organizations when she was kidnapped in Syria last year.
ISIS has demanded $6.6 million and the release of U.S. prisoners in exchange for the woman, ABC News reported.
The group has specifically demanded the U.S. to release Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist with an MIT degree, who was convicted of attempting to kill FBI agents and American soldiers in 2008. Siddiqui is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas.
However, Siddiqui's family has sought to disassociate her name with ISIS, ABC News reported.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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