04/24/2015 12:56 pm ET Updated Jun 24, 2015

White House Considering Cross-Agency Team To Handle Hostage Situations

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WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The White House is considering assembling a cross-agency team to handle situations involving American hostages being held abroad, spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday.

The idea is being floated in the midst of a review of the U.S policy towards hostages, which was criticized on Thursday by the family of Warren Weinstein, the American hostage killed in a U.S. strike while being held by al Qaeda on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The group, which Earnest called a "fusion cell," would combine leaders from the FBI, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

Such a group would focus on communicating with the families of hostages as well as working to bring hostages home. (Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Doina Chiacu)



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