Congressman pushes for hostage czar to ensure coordination

AP News
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Posted: May 01, 2015 11:48 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressman who represents the Maryland district of Warren Weinstein's family is pushing for the creation of a hostage czar to coordinate government efforts to free those held captive.

President Barack Obama said last week that Weinstein and an Italian hostage were accidentally killed in a January strike against al-Qaida. Weinstein had been held for more than three years.

Democratic Rep. John Delaney introduced legislation Friday that would create a panel within the National Security Council headed by the czar, who would unify government efforts.

The legislation specifically states that it does not authorize the government to negotiate with terrorists.

The White House has said the Obama administration is considering the creation of a fusion cell of the FBI, Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community to ensure close coordination.