A shocking video has emerged showing an ISIS militant who speaks with a British accent brutally executing an American photojournalist who was kidnapped in Syria two years ago.
Graphic footage of the execution appeared in an video titled: ‘A Message to the U.S.’, in which an apparently coerced James Wright Foley, 40, describes America as his true killers for using airstrikes to assist Kurdish forces in recapturing the Mosul Dam from ISIS militants.
Foley – who went missing in 2012 while working for the Global Post news agency in Syria – is then beheaded with a small knife over a period of seven minutes by a masked man dressed all in black.
The executioner, who speaks directly to the camera in what appears to be a London accent, then warns that a second captured American journalist will be killed if the U.S. doesn’t halt the airstrikes.
Speaking after the video emerged, Foley’s mother Diane issued a statement saying that she and her husband John have ‘never been prouder’ of their son, who they say gave his life to expose the suffering of the Syrian people.
Foley, has been missing since November 2012, after being taken hostage at gunpoint by militants from the group Jabhat al Nusra while reporting from Taftanaz, in northern Syria, for the agency GlobalPost.
Jabhat al Nusra subsequently joined forces with ISIS – which did not even exist when Foley was first taken – and that appears to be how he ended up in the hands of the brutal militant group.
He was one of 20 journalists currently being held by ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
ISIS posted the extremely graphic video shot at an unknown location, titled ‘A Message to America’ to social media as proof of their barbaric actions.
In a chilling warning at the end of the grisly film, the executioner, who speaks with what sounds like a British accent, parades another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in August 2013, saying: ‘The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.’
In a statement posted on the Free James Foley Facebook page, Diane Foley wrote that she and husband John ‘have never been prouder of our son Jim’.
Mrs Foley writes that her son spent his life fighting to expose the suffering of the Syrian people, and pleads with the terrorist group to release remaining captive Steven Joel Sotloff, who also appears in the video as the group’s next target.
‘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.’
President Barack Obama was briefed on the video as he was flying back to the White House on Air Force One From his Martha’s Vineyard vacation. White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says the administration has seen the video.
The beheading – which British foreign secretary Phillip Hammond says ‘appears to be genuine’ – is the first time ISIS fighters have killed an American since the conflict broke out in Syria in 2011.
It is believed there are at least another 20 journalists held captive by ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.
As the disturbing video unfolds, Foley, dressed in orange and on his knees, is unflinching to the end as he addresses the camera before his death.
It appears the journalist has been coerced into blaming the United States by his brutal captors. His voice strong, but struggling at times to swallow as he battles against fear, he brands the US government his real killers as a man in black robes armed with a gun stands over him.
Foley, who has been missing for almost two years, also leaves a haunting message for his brother, John, who is thought to be in the US Air Force.
Referring to US airstrikes launched nearly two weeks ago in Iraq, Foley says: ‘I died that day, John, when your colleagues dropped that bomb on these people. They signed my death certificate’
Foley blames the ‘complacency and criminality’ of the United States for his impending death.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond today said a video showing the apparent beheading of a US journalist by an Islamic State fighter speaking with a British accent appeared to be genuine, adding it was “an appalling example of the brutality of this organisation”.
Source: Daily Mail