President Obama clears the way for hostages' families to pay ransom

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By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is clearing the way for families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom to terror groups without fear of prosecution, as the White House seeks to address criticism from those whose loved ones have been killed in captivity.

U.S. officials say the hostage policy review to be released on Wednesday, June 24, will also state that the U.S. government can help facilitate communications with terrorists on behalf of the families. However, a prohibition on the U.S. government directly paying ransom or making other concessions to terrorists will remain in place.

Obama will speak about the policies shortly after meeting with the families of Americans who have been held captive. The president ordered the review last year after families complained about their dealings with the administration.