After James Foley was brutally beheaded by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a Frenchman who was held prisoner along with him claims he knows who the American journalist’s executioner is — a jihadist known as ‘John the Jailer.’
After the militant group ISIS posted a video titled “A Message To America” on YouTube on Aug. 19, Americans watched in horror as James Foley, 40, was savagely executed at the hands of a man believed to be the leader of a gang of three British Islamic State jihadists known as “The Beatles.” With the group reportedly still holding foreigners captive in Syria, an international hunt is on for John the Jailer and his fellow fighters — and one former captive may be able to help identify him.
James Foley’s Killer: The Hunt For ISIS Militant Who Beheaded Him
Didier Francois, a French reporter who was held captive with James for eight months, said on Aug. 21 that he had a “rough idea” of who beheaded the fallen journalist, based on the horrific video the jihadist group posted to YouTube.
“Recognized is a very big word, but I see roughly who it is,” Didier, who works for the radio station Europe 1, told the UK’s Daily Mail.
Didier also revealed that James was subjected to brutal beatings and mock executions weeks before his death.
With an international manhunt underway as of Aug. 20, hopefully Didier will be able to provide some helpful clues to the FBI, MI5 and Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command, who on Aug. 20 were all trying to identify the militant behind James’ execution.
John the Jailer, who is believed to be from London, was reportedly the “lead rebel negotiator during talks earlier this year to release 11 Islamic State hostages – who were eventually handed to Turkish officials after ransom demands were met,” according to The Guardian.
James Foley: American Journalist Beheaded By Savage ISIS Executioner
As HollywoodLife.com previously reported, the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) killed James in an execution by beheading in Syria, after holding him hostage since 2012. The group posted a video of his execution, titled “A Message To America,” to YouTube on Aug. 19.
In the gruesome video that has since been removed from YouTube, James, under duress, blamed America for “signing [his] death certificate” by bombing Iraq. “I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers — the U.S. government — for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacent criminality,” he said.
Though James’ horrifying death cannot be undone, other hostages are now facing the same fate. At the end of the video, ISIS threatened to kill Time contributor Steven Sotloff next. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the ISIS executioner warned.
Our thoughts go out to James’ friends and family during this difficult time. We hope Steven Sotloff and all of the other remaining hostages will return safely to their homes soon.
— Tierney McAfee