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Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the murder of American journalist James Wright Foley. The renowned photojournalist had been reported missing in Syria in 2012.
In a disturbing video that circulated the internet Tuesday (Aug. 19), a man who is believed to be Foley is beheaded by a masked executioner. The executioner says in English that Foley’s murder is in response to the U.S. airstrikes on Iraq. Foley is then forced to read a statement that the U.S. is responsible for his death.
The executioner spoke with a British accent, causing many to worry that the Islamic State has recruited Britons to join their ranks.
After a social media uproar, YouTube removed the video from its website.
James Foley’s mother Diane released a statement saying, “He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. 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 have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.”
U.S. intelligence officials are now investigating the video to determine its authenticity.
Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Council 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.”
Publication date: August 20, 2014