James Foley's family was in disbelief after learning the news. The five minute video of the execution entitled "A message to America" shows a man who appears to be Foley. He makes what appears to be a forced, prepared statement, saying a few things including that he wished he "had more time."
A masked executioner claiming to be from the Islamic extremist group ISIS then beheads the captive and threatens to kill another American hostage, journalist Steven Stoloff, if President Barack Obama doesn't stop airstrikes in Iraq.The president was expected to speak about Foley's death Wednesday morning.
Foley was a freelance journalist for the US news service Global Post. He was kidnapped two years ago while on assignment in the northwestern part of Syria. Nobody knew who took him or why. That was the second time he was abducted. The first was in 2011 when he was held captive in Libya for 44 days.
He is the oldest of five children and his family and volunteers have been working tirelessly to bring him home since he was captured.
His mother released a statement Tuesday that read, in part: "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," the statement continued. "Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."
In a statement released Tuesday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen said Foley was a "respected and accomplished journalist who devoted his life to one of our most important freedoms - the freedom of press."
Two U.S. officials say they believe it was Foley in the video, the Associated Press reported.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.