FBI facilitated ransom payment from hostage Weinstein's family: WSJ

Shift In U.S. Hostage Policy
Shift In U.S. Hostage Policy

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2012 helped facilitate a ransom payment from the family of American hostage Warren Weinstein to al Qaeda in an unsuccessful attempt to get him released, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

Weinstein was accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in January, the White House announced last week. U.S. policy prohibits paying ransoms for hostages.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, asked about the report on Wednesday, said he had not yet seen it and could not comment. "Our policy on this hasn't changed," he told reporters.

There was no immediate comment on the report from the FBI.

A person who worked closely with the Weinstein family told Reuters last week that the family paid a "small amount" in 2012 to people who claimed to be guarding the American aid worker, after receiving proof he was their captive.

The source said the FBI was aware of the payment.

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