Death of journalist helps reshape US handling of hostages

WASHINGTON (AP) — American journalist James Foley was kidnapped in Syria and then killed by Islamic State militants in 2014 — his death seen in a video circulated online.

For Diane Foley it was a galvanizing moment, emblematic of the helplessness she felt during her son’s captivity and the lack of urgency she sensed from American officials.

The New Hampshire woman has become an unofficial ambassador for hostages and their loved ones and has helped reshape the U.S. government response when Americans are captured by terrorists and kidnappers across the globe.

Foley and the foundation she formed in her son’s name have successfully pushed the U.S. government to overhaul the hostage rescue process. The goal is to prevent other families from experiencing the fragmented, ineffective government response she says she endured.

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