Shourd and fellow hikers Shane Bauer (center) and Josh Fattal held a press conference shortly after Bauer and Fattal were released in 2011. Shourd was released in 2010. Craig Ruttle/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Craig Ruttle/AP

American Journalist James Foley, pictured in 2011. Foley's beheading at the hands of the Islamic State militant group has forced a debate over how the U.S. balances its policy of not paying ransoms. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Steven Senne/AP

This still image from video published on the Internet on Wednesday by a group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate, shows members of the group standing behind French mountaineer Herve Gourdel just before beheading him. AP hide caption

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Joe Cicippio was held in chains at 20 different locations in Lebanon. Some hostages have had trouble readjusting following their release. He says he focused on the good things in his life, including music, to get him through his captivity. Greg Myre/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Myre/NPR

In October, kidnapped French intelligence agent Denis Allex appeared in a video shot by his captors. In the video, Allex pleads for French President Francois Hollande to negotiate for his release. -/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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