James Foley, an American journalist, has been beheaded in a savage execution by militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), judging by a terrifying video which was uploaded to YouTube and titled ‘A Message To America.’
James Foley, 40, an American journalist, died following a brutal execution by beheading in Syria by militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The group posted the video, titled “A Message To America,” on YouTube on August 19.
James Foley Beheaded By ISIS In Terrifying Video: American Journalist Executed
Clearly under duress, James — who has been a prisoner in Syria for nearly two years — blamed America for “signing [his] death certificate” after dropping bombs on 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 in the video.
The horrifying video has yet to be officially verified, but many outlets — including James’ own GlobalPost — are operating under the assumption that the video is real.
The original, four-minute video was removed from YouTube, but shorter, edited iterations exist online. While it’s difficult to confirm James’ identity — and his execution — with certainty, the terrifying event more than likely occurred.
Diane Foley: James ‘Gave His Life Trying To Expose The World To The Suffering Of The Syrian People’
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.”
Indeed, hostages remain — at the end of the video, ISIS threatens to do to Time contributor Steven Sotloff what they did to James. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” said the ISIS executioner.
This was not the first time that James was taken hostage; in 2011, he spent 44 days in a Libyan prison along with two other journalists. His parents, who are completely devastated, spoke about their son during a press conference on Aug. 20. (Watch it here.)
Our thoughts go out to James’ friends and family during this difficult time and we hope to see the safe return of Steven Sotloff and other kidnapped Americans on Syrian soil.
— Amanda Mitchell