Opinion

White House won't pay ransom for kidnapped Nigerian girls

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Ashe Schow,Nigeria,Boko Haram,War on Women

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that the Obama administration would not pay a ransom to free the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the terrorist organization Boko Haram, the Hill reports.

“When it comes to the approach to Boko Haram in this case, Nigeria, of course, has the lead, and we play a supporting role,” Carney said. “It is the policy of the United States to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, and that includes ransoms or concessions.”

Carney said that FBI hostage negotiators were working with Nigerian officials to find the missing girls, but that the Nigerian government might end up with a different position on the ransom.

"I can't speak to every conversation, but that is certainly the position of the United States, that we as a matter of policy deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, and that includes ransoms or other concessions," Carney said.

On Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video where he offered to let the girls go in exchange for imprisoned terrorists. He had previously threatened to sell the girls into slavery.

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