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updated: 8/21/2014 2:23 PM

Official: Militants asked $132.5 million ransom

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  • A U.S. official said that ransom demands for American journalist James Foley were sent to Diane and John Foley, seen here talking to reporters Wednesday.

      A U.S. official said that ransom demands for American journalist James Foley were sent to Diane and John Foley, seen here talking to reporters Wednesday.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
By Lara Jakes and Michael Melia
AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. official says the Islamic State militants who beheaded American journalist James Foley in Syria had demanded $132.5 million -- or 100 million Euros -- in ransom for his release.

A second U.S. official says the demands were sent in emails to Foley's family in New Hampshire. Both officials spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ransom demands by name.

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Separately, Foley's former employer said that the militants first demanded the money late last year.

GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni also indicated that European governments paid far less to have the Islamic State release their hostages.

U.S. policy prohibits the government negotiating with terrorists, including paying ransom.

A video of Foley's beheading was released on websites Tuesday.

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