James Foley, a freelance American photojournalist was beheaded on camera Tuesday (Aug. 19) by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Foley was made to read a statement from his captors, naming his “real killers” as America.
A video of the brutal execution was posted to YouTube and removed. Foley was kidnapped two years ago, after going missing near the Syrian border. He was previously kidnapped in Libya, three years ago.
In what would be his last time seen alive, Foley kneels while dressed in orange and standing next to him is a figure in all black. He states, “I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again.”
Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council acknowledged that the video has been reviewed. “The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity,” she said. “If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available.”
Foley was a graduate of Northwestern University. “He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person,” his mother, Diane Foley said via Facebook post.
ISIS threatened to kill another American journalist captive if President Obama continues military efforts in Iraq. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” a man identified as journalist Steven Joel Soltoff says in the recording.
Obama has been briefed on the video during an AirForce One flight from Washington back to Martha’s Vineyard, where he is to resume vacation.