A propaganda video showing the execution of kidnapped US reporter James Foley by a militant from the Islamic States (formerly ISIS) that appeared to be British has appeared on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
Under the title “A Message to America” or “رسالة إلى أمريكا”, the graphic video opens with a snippet of a press conference by US President Barack Obama authorising military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq. It then goes on to show Foley in an orange jumpsuit coerced to recite an anti-US message blaming the US air strikes for his death.
The executioner, speaking in a British accent and dressed in black and his face covered, then goes on to blame Foley’s death on US “aggression” towards the Islamic State and proceeds to decapitate the journalist.
The video closes with an ultimatum to the US to stop its air strikes or another kidnapped journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, will be executed.
The White House has said that its is “appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist” and Prime Minister David Cameron has called his execution “shocking and depraved”.
Throughout his career, Foley, 40, reported extensively across the Middle East for news outlets such as AFP and US publication Global Post. He was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012 when reporting on the bloody uprising against Bashar al-Assad. His last article for GlobalPost described the growing frustration with the war among civilians in Aleppo, Syria.
After hearing the news of the death of her son, Diane Foley said on Facebook:
“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.”