Six years ago this month, the Islamic State (IS) published its first video in what would become the prevailing image of the war: a jumpsuit-clad hostage kneeling before a knife-wielding executioner. For the parents of slain Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, justice has remained elusive.
But two of the families told Al-Monitor they were given fresh hope after a phone call with Attorney General William Barr on Aug. 6. Barr told them federal prosecutors will take the death penalty off the table as a potential sentence for two men alleged to have tortured and killed foreign hostages. News of the call was first reported by NBC News.