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Hostage News

Sydneysiders queue for reopening of siege cafe

Sydney - The Sydney cafe where a gunman inspired by the Islamic State group staged a bloody 16-hour siege reopened Friday, with scores queuing to enter the site where two hostages died.

System let us down with Sydney siege 'monster': PM

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted Sunday "the system" had let the public down by failing to protect it from the "monster" who carried out a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe.

Sydney siege survivors tell of terror at hands of gunman

Sydney - Survivors of a 16-hour siege in a Sydney cafe on Sunday told of their terror during the deadly standoff, as a jihadist gunman threatened to kill people "one by one".

No evidence 'at this time' to confirm IS hostage claim: U.S.

Washington - The United States said Friday that it has not yet seen any proof to confirm a claim by the Islamic State group that a female American hostage has been killed in an air strike in Syria by a Jordanian plane.

Murdered Japanese journalist's peace tweet goes viral

Toukyo - A poignant tweet by murdered journalist Kenji Goto on the virtue of being calm was spreading rapidly on social media Tuesday, days after he was apparently beheaded by Islamist militants."Close your eyes and remain patient.

Hostage crisis poses stark test for pacifist Japan

Toukyo - The apparent beheading of two Japanese hostages by Islamic State militants poses a stark diplomatic test for pacifist Japan, underscoring how Tokyo's image as a benign aid donor offers no immunity from violence, analysts say.

Japan condemns 'despicable' IS hostage beheading claim

Toukyo - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday denounced as "heinous and despicable" the apparent beheading of a second Japanese hostage by the Islamic State group, as global leaders denounced the jihadists.

IS claims beheading of second Japanese captive

Toukyo - The Islamic State group claimed in a video that it has beheaded a second Japanese hostage, drawing international condemnation and outrage from a visibly upset Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who denounced it as a "heinous and despicable" act.

Japan says hostage negotiations 'deadlocked'

Toukyo - Japan's deputy foreign minister has said negotiations with the Islamic State group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become "deadlocked", local media reported Saturday.

Jordan demands proof pilot alive as IS deadline passes

Amman - Jordan demanded proof Thursday that a pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group was alive, as a deadline set by the jihadists to free a female militant expired.

Police gunfire killed Sydney siege victim: inquest

Sydney - Ricochets from police gunfire killed one of the two hostages who died in a 16-hour siege at a central Sydney cafe in December, an inquest into the deadly stand-off heard on Thursday.

Anxious wait as Jordan offers to exchange jihadist for pilot

Amman - Jordan offered Wednesday to exchange a female jihadist for a Jordanian pilot held by the Islamic State group, whose deadline for executing the airman and a Japanese journalist is thought to have passed.

Hostage parents make anguished pleas as IS deadline nears

Toukyo - The parents of a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian airman held by Islamic State militants made last-ditch pleas for their lives as a deadline for an exchange with a jihadi bomber neared Wednesday.

IS threatens to kill Japan hostage, Jordan pilot within 24 hours

Birut - The Islamic State jihadist group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.

IS claims it executed Japanese hostage

Birut - The Islamic State group has said it executed one of two Japanese hostages it has been holding, in an apparent beheading that has been slammed by leaders around the world.

Japan condemns 'outrageous' hostage murder

Toukyo - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday branded the murder of a Japanese hostage by Islamic State militants as "outrageous and unforgivable" and demanded the immediate release of a second captive, amid a tide of global revulsion.

Japan PM says 'credibility' of hostage video is 'high'

Toukyo - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday the "credibility" of a video announcing the execution of a Japanese hostage by the Islamic State militant group was "high".

Japan vows to 'never give up' search for IS hostages

Toukyo - Japan on Saturday vowed to "never give up" its struggle to save two Japanese hostages held captive by Islamic State militants after the deadline to pay their ransom passed in agonising silence.

A mother pleads as Japan hostage deadline passes

Toukyo - The deadline set by Islamist militants threatening to kill two Japanese men unless they were given $200 million passed Friday, after one captive's mother made a desperate plea to save her son's life.

Cameroon raid frees German hostage held by Boko Haram

Cameroon said Wednesday its forces have freed a German hostage kidnapped six months ago in Nigeria by Boko Haram, as African leaders appealed to the United Nations for support in fighting the Islamist militants.

Clock ticking for Japanese IS hostages

Toukyo - The clock was ticking on Thursday towards a deadline imposed by Islamist militants threatening to kill two Japanese nationals unless Tokyo pays a $200 million ransom.

Profiles of the Japanese hostages in Islamist State video

Toukyo - Militants from the Islamic State group released a video Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese men they were holding. A masked jihadist demanded a $200 million ransom for their release.Here are brief profiles of the men.

Islamic State militants threaten to kill Japanese hostages

Birut - The Islamic State group threatened in a video Tuesday to kill two Japanese hostages within 72 hours unless it receives a $200 million ransom, but Tokyo vowed it would not bow to "terrorism".

IS threatens to kill two Japanese hostages: Video

Birut - The Islamic State group threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays a $200 million ransom within 72 hours, in a video posted on jihadist websites on Tuesday.

Australia to erect permanent memorial for Sydney siege victims

Sydney - Australia will build a permanent memorial to remember the victims of the Sydney cafe siege, officials said on Sunday as they vowed never to forget the two hostages who died in the stand-off.

Australian charged over terrorist plot targeting govt

Sydney - An Australian man was charged Wednesday with possessing documents connected to a planned terrorist attack on government targets in Sydney, but police insisted people should not be afraid.

Australia fears fresh attacks as Sydney mourns siege victims

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday warned of heightened "terrorist chatter" in the aftermath of the fatal Sydney cafe siege and said another attack was likely, as tearful mourners paid tribute to the victims.

Death threats to Sydney siege gunman's lawyers, magistrate

Sydney - Lawyers who defended the Sydney siege gunman on a string of charges and the magistrate who bailed him have received death threats, officials said Friday, amid growing anger that he was on the streets.

Australian PM says cafe siege 'horrific wake-up call'

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday admitted Sydney's cafe siege was "a horrific wake-up call" as details emerged of the final minutes of the standoff which left the gunman and two hostages dead.

Iran says Australia ignored warnings about gunman

Tehran - Iran repeatedly warned Australia about the criminal past of the perpetrator of the Sydney cafe siege and called for him to be kept under surveillance, top officials in Tehran said.
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Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison  held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison, held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Screen Capture
Klein Michael Thaxton
Klein Michael Thaxton
Screen Capture
Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
Screen Capture
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high ...
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high rise.
Screen Capture
Manila police surround a bus  where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Manila police surround a bus, where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Video screenshot