Source: ISIS wants more hostages

Story highlights

  • ISIS has beheaded hostages for propaganda purposes and traded some for ransom
  • Middle East security source said group could target Lebanon and Jordan
  • There are many camps near the borders housing refugees -- and aid workers

(CNN)An ISIS outfit based in northeastern Syria has been drawing up plans since at least the middle of last year to kidnap Westerners and others in neighboring countries, a Middle East security source told CNN on Friday.

The source said the terrorists want to go into countries such as Lebanon and Jordan and bring hostages back to Syria, where they could be used in ISIS propaganda videos, according to intelligence gathered on the planning.
    After producing at least seven highly publicized clips in which hostages were beheaded, ISIS may believe it needs to kidnap more people.
    It's hard to know how many captives ISIS and other groups have because governments, employers and families tend to keep kidnappings quiet for fear of putting the victims in greater danger while negotiators work to secure their release.
    The group, which is based in the area of Raqqa, has financial resources to sneak across borders and bribe security guards who might be sympathetic to their cause. Some of the funds have come from ransoms paid for the release of other hostages.
    A new ISIS-affiliated group in Egypt might be keen to help snatch Westerners.
    CNN national security commentator and former Rep. Mike Rogers said the report is "very plausible."
    The large number of refugees streaming out of Syria into Lebanon and Jordan could give the terrorists cover at the border, he said. ISIS may try to capture aid workers at the refugee camps.
    There are many ISIS sympathizers in northern Jordan, which borders Syria, said Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired airman and a former U.S. military attaché in Syria.
    "And that border is very, very porous," he said.
    Another big concern, the experts said, would be that other groups could abduct people and sell them to ISIS.
    "It is a cash business. We should make no mistake about it," Rogers said.