Obama, Global Post knew of threat to kill Foley 1 week prior to execution



BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Journalist James Foley's captors threatened to kill him a week before his execution in an email sent to his parents that both Global Post President Philip Balboni and President Barack Obama were aware of.

Foley was killed Tuesday in Syria after being held there for almost two years. The 40-year-old journalist was freelancing for the Global Post and Agence France-Presse when he was captured. In a news conference Wednesday, Balboni confirmed that both he and the White House were aware of the threat to kill Foley one week prior to his execution. He went on to say that the threat was different than previous communications they'd had with the captors. The captors demanded a lot on the past, but this email was filled with rage, according to Balboni. Still, he wanted to believe the threat was empty, and learned it wasn't Tuesday when the video of Foley's killing was released on YouTube.

When asked if he did anything differently after the latest and most serious threat, Balboni said they "had all the appropriate communication."

Balboni acknowledged that getting the hostages home is a "difficult situation" for the government and that there was "no easy" way to bring them back. Three Americans are still being held in Syria. Balboni added that there may be time to consider if something else could have done to save Foley, but that time is not now.

He did say that the situation changed when the bombing began and that made it more difficult to bring hostages home.

He refused to reveal the location where Foley was being held, but said he knew and that "it's safe to say our government knew" as well.

Balboni explained that they "left no stone unturned" to find a means to release Foley, but refused to get into specifics. He did say that millions of dollars were spent to free him.

Foley dealt with physical abuse, but Balboni didn't elaborate on that topic. Another hostage, who was recently released, was interviewed by investigators as well as the Foley family to provide some insight on what Foley may have experienced.

Foley was courageous man and "shining example" to reporters and those who believe in free press, Balboni said.