Feb 25 2015
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Dan Coats (R-IN), John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), today re-introduced a bill to update the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the ISIL terrorists responsible for executing James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
The amended bill would offer rewards of up to $5 million for information on the kidnapping and murder of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid workers Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig and Kayla Mueller. To prepare for unknown future circumstances, the bill would also authorize up to $5 million for information on the kidnap and murder of any other U.S. citizen by a foreign terrorist organization. The bill prohibits rewards for individuals affiliated with, or supportive of, foreign terrorist organizations.
“The fight against ISIL hit home for Floridians when Steven Sotloff, an American journalist from Florida, was brutally murdered at the hands of these radical Islamic extremists,” said Rubio. “We must ensure that the barbaric murders of Steven, James Foley, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller do not go unanswered. This bill is a clear message to ISIL and terrorists everywhere that America will not rest until justice is served.”
“Terrorists around the world must know that if they kill Americans, we will hunt them down,” Ayotte said. “We continue to mourn the loss of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller, and this legislation honors their memory and reflects our unwavering commitment to bring their murderers to justice.”
“This bipartisan legislation rightfully honors the lives of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller,” Shaheen said. “Our message to ISIL is clear: their brutal and barbaric murders will not go unanswered.”
“This is a truly barbaric group that must be stopped,” said Nelson. “And offering rewards for information leading to the capture of those responsible for these heinous crimes against Americans will ultimately help bring them to justice.”
“It is clear that ISIL is intent on testing the utter limits of evil and depravity,” said Coats. “The savage murders of Americans committed by ISIL barbarians demand retribution. Our bipartisan legislation will help target these terrorists so that justice can be served.”
“We need to use every means available to bring to justice those responsible for the death of Kayla Mueller and other U.S. citizens,” said Flake. “The State Department’s Rewards for Justice program is another valuable tool with which to find, capture or kill these perpetrators.”
“Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig was a selfless young man dedicated to serving those most in need throughout the Middle East,” said Donnelly. “As we honor Abdul-Rahman’s life and the other lives of the Americans killed by ISIL, we also seek justice for those who took his life while working toward preventing this from happening to any more families.”
“ISIS is the face of evil. Its objective is to destroy America and our allies. They are carrying out their radical Islamic agenda through brutal and provocative executions of four innocent American journalists and humanitarian workers. Their attacks are not mere isolated atrocities; they are threatening the freedom our nation embodies,” said Cruz. “We should do everything within our reach to find and prosecute those responsible for the acts of terror and send a clear message that we will not tolerate vicious affronts to our citizens.”
Companion legislation was introduced in the House by U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
A PDF of the legislation is available here.