Islamic militants behead US journalist James Foley in video
BAGHDAD: Islamic State militants have released a video
that shows the beheading of a US journalist who went missing two years ago. The
footage shows a masked man - speaking in English with an English accent -
killing James Foley, who was seized by armed men in Syria in November 2012.
In the five-minute propaganda video, posted on social
media sites by Islamic State sources, the man says Mr Foley was being killed
because Barack Obama had ordered airstrikes against IS positions in northern
Just hours after the video was released, a US official
said American drones had carried out nearly a dozen airstrikes in Iraq since
Tuesday. The journalist, dressed in an orange jumpsuit like those worn by Guantanamo
inmates, is seen kneeling in the desert before he blames the US for his death,
in a statement presumably prepared by his abductors.
He then says, “I wish I had more time, I wish I could
have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again, but that ship has
sailed.” He is then beheaded.
The group also claimed to be holding another American
journalist, Steven Sotloff, who appears at the end of the video, and said his
life depended on the US President’s next move. On Wednesday, the FBI said it
believed the video to be authentic.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the
video, voiced by an IS fighter with a British accent, was “an appalling example
of the brutality of this organisation.” Speaking on Wednesday morning, Hammond
said, “All the hallmarks point to it being genuine.”
When asked whether he acknowledged the killer’s
British accent, he said, “Certainly at first pass that’s what it looks like and
we will obviously want to investigate that further.” The Foreign Secretary also
told Sky News later he did not believe the US would be ‘cowed’ by IS threats to
kill US journalist Steven Sotloff, who they claim to be holding.
A statement issued by Foley’s mother, Diane Foley,
said, “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.
“We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an
extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy
in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.” According to witnesses, Foley
was seized in the northern Syrian province of Idlib on November 22, 2012. His
family had not heard from him since, despite a public campaign for information.
Several senior US officials with direct knowledge of
the situation told the Associated Press that IS very recently threatened to
kill Foley to avenge the American airstrikes over the last two weeks. The
strikes targeted militants advancing on Mount Sinjar, the Mosul Dam and Kurdish
Prime Minister David
Cameron returned to Downing Street from his holiday early after the beheading,
which came just days after he warned Europe could be facing a
"poisonous" terrorist state on its doorstep. The release of the video
comes a day after IS militants threatened to attack US targets in another video
where they warned "we will drown all of you in blood".