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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 18th, 2014
07:09 PM ET

Former hostage: European nations need to stop paying ransom

(CNN) - European nations are increasingly acquiescing to terrorists' ransom demands, despite private pressure on their governments and at the determinant of American citizen hostages, says investigative journalist and former Taliban hostage David Rohde.

"There has been private pressure put on these European governments but it hasn't worked. The record government paid, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, is a government paid $40 million a couple of years ago for the release of four French hostages in West Africa. That's $10 million a head," Rohdes told CNN's Jake Tapper. "The problem is not just that these European states are paying, it's that they're paying more and more. The expectations from these groups is that they can get huge ransoms and when you're talking $10 million, no family, no organization can pay that large a ransom."

The Obama administration has just announced it is conducting a review of U.S. hostage policy. The news comes in the wake of yet another beheading of an American citizen by ISIS terrorists.

Rohde believes the review will be an opportunity for the administration to "clarify" its positions, adopt "a more unified measure to stop the ransoms" and improve engagement, here in the U.S., with the families of hostages.

For more of our interview with David Rohde, watch the video above.

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