News / Middle East

Foley May Have Volunteered For Execution

FILE - This undated file still image from video released April 7, 2011, by GlobalPost, shows James Foley of Rochester, N.H., a freelance contributor for GlobalPost, in Benghazi, Libya.
FILE - This undated file still image from video released April 7, 2011, by GlobalPost, shows James Foley of Rochester, N.H., a freelance contributor for GlobalPost, in Benghazi, Libya.
VOA News

The family of James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State terror group, believes he may have volunteered to be killed to spare the lives of his fellow hostages.

Foley's brother Michael  says he has no doubt that James would have sacrificed himself.

The Foley family was attempting to raise ransom money for the journalist's release, but had nowhere near the $130 million the terrorists had demanded.  

While European nations have paid multi-million dollar ransoms for their kidnapped citizens, the United States does not make ransom payments.     
 
The Islamic State group sent the Foley family an email days ahead of the killing, saying "we will not stop until we quench our thirst for your blood."

Despite the solemn tone of the email, Foley's father, John, said he thought the email signaled an opportunity to negotiate a ransom deal.  The family had not heard from their son's captors in months.  John Foley said he did not realize how "brutal" the Islamic State group is.

The family did not learn about a failed secret U.S. mission to rescue their son until President Barack Obama called them to offer his condolences.

The family says they were "comforted" by a telephone call they received from Pope Francis.  The Foleys are Catholic.

Foley, a freelance journalist, was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.  The Islamic State group has its headquarters in Syria, and that is where Foley is believed to have been beheaded.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Islamic State group is a terror threat "beyond anything we have seen."  He describes the militants as better trained, armed, organized and financed than any other terrorist organization, including al-Qaida.  

Britain's Home Secretary Teresa May says she is preparing a new law to counter British Muslim extremists.  She says the threat to Britain from jihadists will continue for decades. The Islamic State militant who beheaded Foley spoke with a British accent and is thought to be a British citizen.

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rachel
August 25, 2014 8:39 AM
awfulorv - That's a great idea.
Yet, it is not true that justice eventually prevails over evil. Sometimes it does; other times it does not.

by: toni
August 23, 2014 7:27 PM
@ Charlie Darwin from :UK Islam does not have nothing to do with this. There are 12,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria and they are all from some where else than Iraq or Syria . Even US agencies acknowledge that and they said that the 12000 fighters are from 50 different countries and most of them are most likely not even Arab or Muslim. Who knows who sent these people to the middle east and who are they really working for that is the major question here,and what there goal is. Also just like in Ukraine you ave thousands of foreign mercenaries from Germany,Norway,England,Sweden,US,Serbia,Russia and they are paid to kill and to make war even worse than it is between Russian people and Ukraine People.

by: awfulorv from: phoenix
August 23, 2014 3:02 PM
Mr Foley, I believe, was intent on not allowing the bastards to see him grovel before them, in this he succeeded.
It was a small victory, but was the only way he could show the world that justice will, eventually, triumph over evil. If it's any consolation to his grieving parents, they need to know that they raised a fine, brave young man, and the world, and particularly journalism, can ill afford to lose his kind. I hereby propose that some wealthy person take some of that wealth and found an award to be given, each year, to other brave journalists.

by: Samantha O. from: Canada
August 23, 2014 2:01 PM
the real scary part of this vile Islamic spread to Western countries is the havoc they can have on our children... ISIL already said on twitter that they are in our cities... poised to kill us. but i begin to feel the growing opposition to this vile religion and the overwhelming support and admiration of Israel.

by: Mark from: Virginia
August 23, 2014 12:35 PM
There are people in this world who would think exactly as Foley is thought to have...sacrifice themselves if they think it would spare others from a similar fate. We call them heroes. They are stronger and braver than I think I could ever be, but then again, I have never faced a situation like that, and hope and pray to God that I never do.
On they other side of the coin, I suppose, is the possibility of wanting to die to avoid future pain and punishment. When you are dead, you are no longer in control of what others may do, and beyond the reach of helping others, or seeing others being hurt. Not implying this was the case with Foley. No one knows what was going on in his own head, or what his thought processes were in what seemed to be a terrible existence at the hands of those people.

We all must die one day, it is inevitable. Sadly, we do not get to choose how we meet our end (unless we take that end into our own hands by suicide). Every person has a breaking point, how far they are willing to let things go before they accept the finality of their lives. How calm a person is facing certain death is one example of that.

by: Mervin
August 23, 2014 12:24 PM
Placing journalists and free lance journos at risk and allowing them to operate on their own occasionally with a cameraman, is exactly what news companies have been doing, despite statements to the contrary, and that they accept the risk. In a war zone this practice is a very high risk, considering the number of journalists that have been summarily executed or "disappeared". Governments need to examine at this practice
and regulate it. Failing this, tragedies such as James Foley shall continue.

by: Dr. Rambamrat from: USA
August 23, 2014 12:08 PM
You people are so naïve, where is the PROOF that he was actually beheaded???? WHERE IS IT???? WHERE IS THE VIDEO????
The UK is merely the first country to exploit the alleged beheading of James Foley for domestic political purposes. Others, including the United States, will undoubtedly follow suit. The U.S. is using the questionable incident to announce it will soon begin military operations against ISIS in Syria.

On Saturday a former Toronto Sun journalist, Eric Margolis, questioned the Foley incident.

“Was Foley’s head really cut off? Hard to tell. We have been fed so much fake government war propaganda in recent decades – from Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators to Saddam’s hidden nukes – that we must be very cautious,” Margolis writes.

The journalist asks if “the orchestrated outrage over Foley [is a] media prelude to direct US intervention in Syria where the jihadists backed by Washington are losing. It’s all very confusing. In Iraq, ISIS are demon terrorists. But across the border in Syria, they are on our side, fighting against the ‘terrorist’ regime of Basher Assad.”

Margolis’ former colleagues, however, are dutifully pushing the government narrative that Foley was in fact beheaded, despite a nearly complete lack of evidence, and paving the way for yet another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.


by: Charlie Darwin from: UK
August 23, 2014 10:33 AM
Sickening. Tragic. Also the sad naiveté of his parents- Islam is the ultimate evil, cannot be reasoned with, has no compassion. To be unaware is also tragic. Religion of Peace....
I doubt he would volunteer knowing it would make no difference to their brutal beliefs. Those unfortunates in their grip are doomed, no matter what- unless they can escape or be rescued.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs