An American freelance photojournalist missing since being abducted in Syria some 22 months ago was apparently beheaded by an Islamic State militant in a graphic video released Tuesday.
Titled “A Message to America,” the gruesome clip shows a masked militant saw away at the neck of James Wright Foley, a 40-year-old New Hampshire native captured in Binesh, Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012.(continue)...
The family, on its "Free James Foley" Facebook page, has yet to confirm his death.
"Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers," the statement reads.
Foley, dressed in orange and kneeling in a desert, reads what appears to be a coerced statement that alludes to recent American airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq.
“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,” Foley reads as he kneels beside an armed militant, masked and dressed all in black. “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.”
“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,” the man says, gesturing with a knife he then uses to behead Foley.
The clip begins with a video of President Obama announcing Aug. 7. American intervention in Iraq against the militants.
“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.
Toward the end of the video, the terror group threatens to kill another hostage, Steven Joel Soltoff, a journalist who has contributed to TIME and has been missing since the middle of last year.
“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the man says as he holds Soltoff by the neck.
The nearly five-minute clip has since been removed from YouTube. It’s unclear where, exactly, the murder was filmed.
|Joel Soltoff, ISIS threaten to kill him if airstrikes are not stopped.|