Islamic State insurgents released a video yesterday
Tuesday August 19th purportedly showing the
beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley (pictured
above), who had gone missing in Syria nearly two
years ago, and images of another U.S. journalist
whose life they said depended on U.S. action in Iraq.
The video, titled “A Message To America,” was posted
on social media sites. It was not immediately
possible to verify its authenticity.
Foley, who has reported in the Middle East for five
years, was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, by
unidentified gunmen. Steven Sotloff, who appeared at
the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria
while he was reporting in July 2013. Continue…
A Twitter account set up by his family to help find
him said early on Wednesday: “We know that many
of you are looking for confirmation or answers.
Please be patient until we all have more information,
and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers.”
The White House said that U.S. intelligence agents
were working to verify the authenticity of a video.
The Islamic State had not previously executed
American citizens publicly. The video was posted
after the United States resumed air strikes in Iraq for
the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in
The Sunni militant group has declared a caliphate in
parts of Iraq and Syria in areas it controls.
The video opened with a clip of U.S. President Barack
Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.
“Obama authorizes military operations against the
Islamic State effectively placing America upon a
slippery slope towards a new war front against
Muslims,” words appear in English and Arabic on the
It showed black and white aerial footage of air strikes
with text saying “American aggression against the
A person identified as James Foley and wearing an
orange outfit is seen kneeling in the desert as a man
in black dress with a black mask stands beside him,
holding a knife.
“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
complacency and criminality,” the kneeling man says.
The man in the mask speaks in a British accent and
says: “This is James Wright Foley, an American
citizen, of your country. As a government, you have
been at the forefront of the aggression towards the
“Today your military air force is attacking us daily in
Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst
Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency.
We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been
accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.”
Following his statement he beheads the kneeling
At the end of the video, words on the side of the
screen say “Steven Joel Sotloff” as another prisoner
in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen.
“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on
your next decision,” the masked man says.
Foley, a freelance reporter, had been covering Syria’s
civil war for GlobalPost. In 2011, he was held for 45
days by forces loyal to former Libyan leader
Sotloff is also a freelancer journalist with published
stories in Time Magazine and Foreign Policy. He has
worked in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: “We
have seen a video that purports to be the murder of
U.S. citizen James Foley by ISIL. The intelligence
community is working as quickly as possible to
determine its authenticity.
“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.”
Islamic State also released another video on Tuesday
that gave the strongest indication yet it might attempt
to strike American targets.
The video with the theme “breaking of the American
cross” boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious
over “crusader” America.
It follows a video posted on Monday, warning of
attacks on American targets if Washington struck
against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.