Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "ransom" ...

  • The Turn Toward Tehran

    How secret cash payments helped pave the way for a release of prisoners and new opening to Iran.
  • Is it Right to Pay Ransoms?

    In 2009, an elderly retired teacher from Germany, a Swiss couple and a British citizen named Edward Dyer were kidnapped while driving down a desert highway after taking part in an annual concert of Tuareg music on the Mali-Niger border. They eventually ended up in the hands of Islamist militants belonging to the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM. The German and Swiss hostages were released after several months when their governments paid ransom. But the British hostage was shot and then beheaded. The UK government bans paying ransom to abductors. This story reconstructs the abduction and its aftermath and shows how whether a hostage lives or dies depends on his or her government's willingness to negotiate and pay ransom.
  • Ruthless Kidnapping Rings Reach from Desert Sands to U.S. Cities

    The story deals with the ever-evolving crime of human smuggling, and how opportunistic criminal gangs exploit gaps in law enforcement to open new channels for profit. In this case it was how Bedouin gangs along the Egypt-Israel border in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula took advantage of the Arab Spring, the fall of the Mubarak regime, and the increasingly lawless state of the region to create a perfect smuggling scenario linking African refugees in Israel to Palestinian bag men (who collect the ransom) to diaspora Africans in Europe and North America who raise thousands of dollars to rescue their captives. The story documents the $80,000 payment made by one immigrant father from Eritrea—now living near San Jose, California—to secure the release of his teen-age daughter and his own brother. We showed how this was part of a growing international network that has funneled millions of dollars in each of the last 3 years to the criminals operating these enterprises.
  • Annals of National Security; King's Ransom: How vulnerable are the Saudi royals?

    The New Yorker investigates the state of the Saudi Arabian royal family in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and finds its leader, King Fahd, is incapacitated and the ruling princes are stealing from the people and giving money to terrorist networks, particularly Al-Qaeda.
  • Gone

    Esquire tells the story of eight Americans who have been kidnapped by guerrillas in Ecuador and kept in the jungles for more than five months. The article reveals that the families of the kidnapped men have been told lies by the negotiators - for example, that hostages would not be harmed. One of the men, Ron Sanders of Missouri, was killed, because the American organizations negotiating with the ninjas failed to achieve a deal on the amount of the ransom to be paid. Kidnapping has become a business in countries like Ecuador, the magazine reports.
  • The Clan Behind The Curtain

    The failure of the punch cards in Florida has the voting machine industry ramped up to get a hold of any new voting machine business that may ride on the tails of the $3 billion subsidies under consideration by Congress. The Shoups, formerly the "first family of voting" and makers of the "U.S. Standard Voting Machine" are getting back into the business. Shoup senior is actually a convicted felon, and was fined and served a suspended sentence for offering to cast a better light on city commissioner Marge Tartaglione if she would give him the city's voting-machine repair business.
  • Adventures in the Ransom Trade

    The huge number of multinational businessmen being abducted abroad (hundreds a year at ransoms reaching $30 million) has made organized kidnapping a big business. It has also spawned a counterindustry - getting them back.
  • (Untitled)

    Newly released documents show that in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion 35 years ago President Kennedy brushed off an invitation from the revolutionary leader Che Guevara to reach terms for peaceful coexistence between the United States and Cuba. The Miami Herald reports how Kennedy halted talks with Cuban President Fidel Castro to pay ransom to free nearly 1,200 exile-invaders in Cuban Jails and cleared the CIA for a new program of subversion dubbed Operation Mongoose. A recently released CIA memo insists discussion of the assassination of Cuban leaders should not by released in writing. (April 29,1996)
  • Masterpieces and the Mob

    ARTnews reports that "Italy has long captured the public imagination as a place where crime and corruption flourish, but in recent years ties to the art world have made for a whole new brand of scandal. An ex-prime minister stands accused of cultural theft; masterpieces are routinely "kidnapped" for ransom; and the police face an uphill battle to halt the illicit removal of art."
  • The Best Degree Crime Can Buy

    WJXT-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.) looks at the costs and benefits of educating inmates in the state correctional institutions; a handful of vocational schools go into several Florida prisons to teach courses in data entry, auto body repair and brick laying; finds that state and federal tax dollars go to pay for college level correspondent course work, May 11 - 12, 1992.