A female ISIS hostage, 26, had her name revealed accidentally by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. The American aid worker has been held by Islamic State militants since August 2013. The woman had been left unidentified for security reasons. ISIS captured the woman when she was working to help displaced individuals impacted by the war in Syria.
Islamic State militants demanded a $6 million ransom and the release of ISIS supporters in exchange for the female hostage. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough released the name of the ISIS female captive on live television on a Sunday news show.
The prisoners ISIS demands include the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientists trained at MIT. Siddiqui was convicted for attempting to murder United States officials and planning to make dirty bombs for us in terror attacks, in 2010.
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) January 25, 2015
Denis McDonough’s slip of the tongue occurred during a This Week segment with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. McDonough and Stephanopoulos were discussing the Japanese hostage reportedly killed recently by ISIS when the name of the American female hostage was uttered by the White House official.
“As it related to our hostages, we are obviously continuing to work those matters very, very aggressively, McDonough said. “We are sparing no expense and spring no effort, both in trying to make sure that we know where they are and make sure that we’re prepared to do anything we must to try and get them home. But [redacted at request of security officials] family knows how strongly the president feels about this, and we will continue to work this.”
National Security Council representative Bernadette Meehan responded to Dens McDonough sharing information that was not supposed to be released to the public, saying, “We don’t have anything to add, other than to request again that you [news media] not use the name of the individual.”
The following is an excerpt from Denis McDonough interview with George Stephanopoulos, as cited on the published transcript of This Week– which did not redact the name of the ISIS female hostage.
“Well, you heard the president say this morning in his press conference that, in fact, al Qaeda, you know, hides in dark corners and tries to make sure that they’re operating in places where they’re not going to be pursued. That means that a lot of the places that they spring up and where they try to operate are places like Yemen or Somalia or North Africa, where the security forces are underdeveloped, where the political situation is volatile. And that’s why we have put in place a strategy that is designed to make sure that we are not only strengthening our partner security forces for them to take the fight to al Qaeda. I am going to say to the parties on the ground that they have to resolve this transparently, peacefully, politically. And we will, while they’re doing that, continue to make sure that we’re focused on the threat to us and to our people.”
What do you think about White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough releasing the name of the ISIS female hostage?
[Image via: Politico]