SENATE PASSES BILL TO OFFER REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON THE MURDERS OF AMERICAN JOURNALISTS

September 19, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) today hailed the Senate’s unanimous passage of a bill authorizing up to $10 million in rewards for information leading up to the arrest and conviction of any individuals involved in the kidnapping and murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were natives of New Hampshire and Florida, respectively.

The bill would update the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program to offer a reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual responsible for committing, conspiring or aiding in the commission of the kidnapping and murders of Foley and Sotloff. Since the inception of the Rewards for Justice Program in 1984, the U.S. has paid more than $125 million to over 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.

“The threat ISIL poses was brought home to us in New Hampshire with their barbaric murders of two courageous and inspiring journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff,” Senator Shaheen said. “Our country lost two of its own and we must do everything possible to bring the terrorists who committed these atrocities to justice.”

“One way we can honor the memories of James Foley and Steven Sotloff is to bring their evil murderers to justice, which this measure will help do,” said Senator Rubio. “I hope the House approves this at the earliest possible opportunity so that the President can sign it into law. It’s important that we send a powerful message to the Foley and Sotloff families, to the American people and to the world that the United States will work tirelessly to ensure that the deaths of these beloved journalists does not go unpunished.”

“James and Steven bravely risked their lives to help the world better understand the tragedy in Syria, and we will not rest until their murderers are brought to justice,” said Senator Ayotte. “Terrorists should know that if they harm Americans, we will hunt them down.”

“We must do all that we can to see that those responsible for these heinous crimes are brought to justice,” said Senator Nelson. “And this bill is an important step in achieving that goal.”

“ISIS represents a direct and growing threat to the United States,” said Senator Cruz. “They have brutally murdered Americans on the world stage and there are reports of jihadists being urged to strike targets such as Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip, and even locations in my home state of Texas. I am encouraged by passage of this bill and it is my hope the House will join in unity with the Senate, and give President Obama the opportunity to send an emphatic message to the world that we will hunt down and punish these killers and anyone else who seeks to harm U.S. citizens.”

A PDF of the legislation is available here