According to Newsweek “A video released Tuesday by militant Islamic extremist group ISIS depicts the violent execution of a man alleged to be missing American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria last year. Foley, 39, was taken while working for Agence France Presse. AFP has no comment at this time, AFP’s Chief Editor for North America told Newsweek in a phone interview. Its team in the Middle East is still investigating, he said.”
In today’s video, three men are seen: the man said to be James Foley, another journalist Steven Soltoff, and an IS militant. The video shows Foley and the militant claiming the execution is in retaliation for the Aug. 9 U.S. bombing of ISIS fighters near Irbil, Iraq. It also shows footage from the Pentagon of the strikes and President Obama announcing the strikes.
The man appearing to be Foley is forced to make a prepared speech:
“I call on my friends family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government. My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity and don’t accept any meager compensation for my death from the same people who effectively put the last nail in my coffin. I call on my brother who is in the Air Force. I call on you, John. Think about who made the decision to bomb Iraq. Who did they really kill? Did they think about me you and our family when they made that decision? I died that day, John. When your colleagues dropped that bomb, they signed my death certificate. I wish I had more time. I wish I had the hope of seeing my family one more time. I guess all-in-all I wish I wasn’t American.”
Then the IS militant speaks:
“This is James Foley an, American citizen of your country. As the American government, you have been at the forefront of the Islamic State. You have plotted against us. Today your military air force has attacked us daily in Iraq. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, a state. So effectively an aggression to the state is an aggression to Muslims of all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic caliphate as their leadership. So any attempts from you, Obama, to deny Muslims their safety of living under the caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.”
The video then shows the IS militant decapitating the man believed to be Foley. The IS militant then brings out a man who is identified as Steven Sotloff. The IS militant then speaks into the camera saying, “The life of this American citizen, Obama depends on your next decision.”
The Obama administration said it had not determined whether the video is authentic. It is working to confirm the authenticity of the video. Caitlin Hayden, White House National Security Council spokeswoman confirmed the administration had seen the video. She said the U.S. would be “appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist,” if it’s deemed genuine by the intelligence community.
James Foley, 40, a freelance journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, vanished in Syria in November 2012. He was covering the Syrian civil war for the GlobalPost. Four militants stopped the car he was riding in. He was in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.