Warning: GRAPHIC IMAGES
An American freelance photojournalist missing since being kidnapped in Syria two years ago was apparently beheaded by an Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militant.
They also threatened the life of another journalist if President Obama doesn’t put an end to airstrikes in Iraq.
A graphic video titled “A Message to America,” was released on Tuesday, in which it shows a masked militant holding a knife at the neck of James Wright Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist for the U.S. Boston-based news service GlobalPost. It was captured in Binesh, Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Also, on Tuesday night, Foley’s mother, Diane, of Rochester, N.H., posted a statement on Facebook regarding the death of her son:
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.
Furthermore, in the video, Foley, who’s dressed in orange and is kneeling in a desert besides an armed militant, masked and dressed in all black, says the following:
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. My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity, and don’t accept some minor compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq. I call on my brother John, who is a member of the U.S. Air Force: Think about what you are doing. Think about the lives you destroy, including those of your own family … I wish I could have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.
The militant, speaking English with an apparent British accent, threatens America and President Obama, right after Foley finishes speaking.
So any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.
In addition, the terrorist video begins with footage of President Obama speaking from the White House on Aug.7 declaring he had authorized airstrikes in Iraq.
“Today I authorized two operations in Iraq: targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water, and facing almost certain death,” Obama said in the clip.
According to the Daily News, President Obama, will be making a public statement about the gruesome slaying on Wednesday.
Also in the video, ISIS threatens to kill a second journalist, Steven Joel Soltoff, 31, who has contributed to TIME and has been missing in Syria since August 2013.
An ISIS fighter holding Soltoff by the neck said to Obama, “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”
As a matter of fact, the clip has since been removed from YouTube.
In a statement from the White House National Security Council, spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, “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.”
Moreover, Foley was a well journalist who was extremely dedicated to his profession. Not only did he traveled throughout the Middle East and North Africa, he also reported about conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya— where he was once held captive for 44 days.
“You don’t want to be defined as that guy who got captured in 2011,” he said in an interview with The Boston Globe about his captivity in Libya. “I believe that front-line journalism is important.”
Thoughts and prayers go out to Foley’s family and friends.
Sherley Boursiquot (@sherleybee_)