Diane Foley, whose son James was beheaded by ISIS earlier this month, told ABC News that an Obama official threatened her and her family over his ransom payments. According to Diane, a high-ranking military officer in President Obama's National Security Council told her she'd be prosecuted for supporting terrorism if she paid the ransom to ISIS.

She told ABC News:

We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling. ... Three times he intimidated us with that message. We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try.

Michael, James's brother, told ABC News he was also threatened. He says the government's threats eventually stopped the Foleys from gathering donations for James's ransom. "It slowed my parents down quite a bit," he explained. "They didn't want to do anything that could get them in trouble. It slowed them down for months in raising money. Who knows what might have happened?"

In a statement to ABC News, NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden explained:

Without getting into the details of our private discussions with families, the law is clear that ransom payments to designated individuals or entities, such as [ISIS], are prohibited. It is also a matter of longstanding policy that the U.S. does not grant concessions to hostage takers. Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive. That is what we convey publicly and what we convey privately.

[Photo via AP]