A video released Tuesday appears to show the execution of American war correspondent James Foley by militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The 41-year-old Foley was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in November 2012 in Syria while on assignment for GlobalPost. He'd previously worked for AFP. (Via FreeJamesFoley.org)
The people behind the video posted Tuesday said they had executed Foley in response to American airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. They also threatened the life of another American in captivity if U.S. involvement continued. We're choosing not to air the propaganda film, and it's been pulled from major online video sites.
Tuesday evening, the United Nations Security Council and Western media outlets were still working to verify the video's authenticity. Foley had been captured once before, by pro-Gaddafi soldiers in Libya in 2011. After his release, he spoke to the Medill School of Journalism about the experience.
JAMES FOLEY: "You're in a cell, it's like a submarine. You can only see out these bars. And you're just trying to stay sane through prayer and cigarettes, basically."
Clare Gillis, who was captured with Foley in Libya, wrote about her colleague for the Syria Deeply blog last year, months after Foley disappeared in Syria.
She wrote, "Having spent years reporting on conflict, Jim told me when to duck and when to run. If he had a sandwich, he’d offer me half; if down to one cigarette, he’d pass it back and forth. ... Everybody, everywhere, takes a liking to Jim as soon as they meet him."
And in a statement Tuesday, Foley's mother wrote, "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."
Throughout his ordeal in Libya and afterward, Foley maintained a passion for his work. He told this to The Boston Globe in May 2011.
FOLEY: "I believe that frontline journalism is important. Without these photos and videos and first hand experience, we can't really tell the world how bad it might be."