POLITICS

White House Considering Cross-Agency Team To Handle Hostage Situations

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10:  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest speaks to the media during his daily briefing in the
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest speaks to the media during his daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room, February 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. Secretary Earnest spoke on various issues including the situation in Ukraine and Syria. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The White House is considering assembling a cross-agency team to handle situations involving American hostages being held abroad, spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday.

The idea is being floated in the midst of a review of the U.S policy towards hostages, which was criticized on Thursday by the family of Warren Weinstein, the American hostage killed in a U.S. strike while being held by al Qaeda on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The group, which Earnest called a "fusion cell," would combine leaders from the FBI, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

Such a group would focus on communicating with the families of hostages as well as working to bring hostages home. (Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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