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Lawmakers propose $5 million reward for info on Americans kidnapped, beheaded by Islamic State

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More than a dozen House lawmakers have introduced a bill creating a $5 million reward for information about the members of Islamic State who kidnapped and publicly murdered three Americans — James Foley, Peter Kassig and Steven Sotloff.

The State Department has a Rewards for Justice program that it can use to offer cash payments for information about Americans who are taken or killed overseas. The bill from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and others would require State to offer a reward for the Islamic State murders under that program.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 3.29.06 PM Peter Kassig is one of three Americans who have been killed in public executions by the Islamic State. Members of Congress are proposing a reward for anyone with information about who kidnapped and killed them.
Image: AP Photo/Courtesy Kassig Family

"The horrific publicized murders of our citizens is unacceptable," Gosar said this week. "We need to find these thugs and bring them to justice."

"This reward money will give incentive for these terrorists to turn on each other," he said. "The first to come to us will be rewarded well so we can bring the others to justice."

Gosar also warned that "their days are numbered, and said that when Americans are taken and killed in this fashion, "justice will follow close behind."

"The kidnapping and murdering of our citizens will not be tolerated and Congress must pass effective legislation that will ensure swift punishment for those who harm innocent Americans," he said.

The Senate approved similar legislation back in September that was sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators. The bipartisan House bill has 14 cosponsors.

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