News / Middle East

US Attempting to Verify Beheading of Journalist

FILE - American journalist James Wright Foley.
FILE - American journalist James Wright Foley.
VOA News

The Obama administration says it is trying confirm the authenticity of a video that purports to show the killing of an American photojournalist by Islamic State militants.

The militant group Islamic State on Tuesday released a video it claims shows the beheading of James Wright Foley as a message to the United States to stop intervening in Iraq.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said "if genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and express our deepest condolences to his family and friends." Hayden said the U.S. intelligence community is working quickly to determine the video's authenticity.
 
Foley was covering the civil war in Syria when he went missing in November 2012.

The video on YouTube was entitled "A Message to #America (from the #IslamicState)."   It identified a man on his knees as Foley and showed his beheading.

A post on the "Free James Foley" Facebook page addressed the reports on Tuesday, saying, "We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers."

Islamic State militants also claimed in the video to be holding another U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and said his life depended on President Barack Obama's next move.

Sotloff went missing in northern Syria in July 2013.

U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee and chair of the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press, released the following statement in the wake of the reported beheading of photojournalist James Wright Foley by ISIL:

"The apparent beheading of photojournalist James Wright Foley adds to the appalling parade of horrors perpetrated by ISIL. Seldom is the descriptor 'evil' applied with perfect accuracy as it is with this monstrous group that glories in death. They know no human decency - murdering journalists, beheading religious minorities refusing to convert, victimizing women and children, and starving entire communities.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of James Foley in this painful time. Journalists on the front lines are true heroes, and James' work like that of Daniel Pearl before him will inspire others to carry on in spite of the dangers."

 

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
August 20, 2014 8:12 AM
The beheading of our journalist James Wright Foley by the militants of the ISIL who do glorify death must know if the do delimit the humanitical and international norms, they are going to face dire consequences. Our assistance for Iraq is just humane and it's to be sustained. With that, our govt. does eye upon the Syrian civil war .......... the very objective is successful finish with that od president Assad.

by: Petunia Katula from: South Africa
August 20, 2014 4:07 AM
the usa sure has enemies. feel sorry for the family of this journalists

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 19, 2014 10:32 PM
If indeed true Rest In Peace Foley, Obama wipe out ISIS or IS.

by: meanbill from: USA
August 19, 2014 10:27 PM
What the Voice of America and other western news media won't tell you.... "The Emir of the Believers" al-Baghdadi the leader of the (ISIL) Sunni Muslim "Caliphate of all Islam" has appointed Imams and (Bay'ahs) judges, (who's qualifications are), they be free, sane, adult, trustworthy, and a Muslim, to mete out instant Islamic justice, and the decisions of the (Qadis) is finale and irrevocable.... in the (ISIL) army war on the "filthy one's, infidels, and the unclean....

According to Islamic Law of the Caliphate.. (concerning prisoners of war).. The decision is left to the Muslim Imam or (Qadi).. He has the choice either to kill the captive men or to exchange them for Muslim captives, or to ENSLAVE them.. (This is regard to men), but women and children are not permitted to be killed, but must be exchanged (to redeem Muslim captives), or be ENSLAVED.. "Take them as SLAVES and maids".... Muhammad and the Caliphs had hundreds and thousands of SLAVES captured in war.....

PS;.. Now you know why the (ISIL) Sunni Muslim army kills so many men, and takes the women and children as SLAVES, and as concubines.... The decisions by the (Qadi) is finale and irrevocable.... The (ISIL) army fighters get the possessions, and slaves of the enemy, like in the old Caliphate conquering armies.... (that's why they fight for al-Baghdadi)..

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 19, 2014 10:22 PM
This is the teaching in Saudi Arabia to these terrorists to behead man and woman with pleasure and smile on human killer face. This is the duty of USA to verify my information that these human killer got training in Saudi Arabia. They have even today finance and training back up in Saudi Arabia. How many Pilots were from Saudi Arabia during 9/11 incidents. I surprised why USA is not taking any serious action against SA against all these evidence. Every thing is not Dollar in life. I know how much SA investment and bank deposits in USA. It means that if they have deposits in USA, then they have right to kill USA CITIZEN in brute way.

by: Mark from: Virginia
August 19, 2014 10:08 PM
It is our 'hunger' for real-time news in places of such conflict that puts journalists in harm's way. Why others have to brave such dangers to bring us the 'news' is beyond me. A soldier is duty bound to place his life (now, her life as well- another practice I strongly disagree with) in such direct path of harm, but not a noncombatant. We do not need to know so much information if it means losing lives to bring that news to us.

Deepest condolences to the family if this horrific act is in truth.

In 2003, when American forces invaded Iraq, many units had with them, imbedded journalists. On one occasion, on CNN, one such imbedded journalist was riding an armored vehicle and using his camera phone to interview the convoy's commander. They (CNN) even had the nerve to set up a satellite relay to this commander's wife and kids on the military base he was from. Racing across the desert, at night, and the wife has real time info on her husband's action in a potentially hostile situation, even seeing him on national television for our 'amusement'. I thought then, 'what if there was an Iraqi unit out there, with a RPG, sighting in on that convoy at that moment, and attacked...blowing up the commander's vehicle and showing this woman, and the Nation, this man's death on the television screen'.
"Look, kids. There is Daddy. He is in Iraq, but you can see him right there on TV. Wave to Daddy, see him- wait, why did the screen get bright and then black out?"
Thank God that never happened, but it could have. We don't need to have that "Need to Know" so much that it compromises the lives of innocent people like this.
Soldiers die...journalists should not have to.

by: Mr A from: New York
August 19, 2014 9:41 PM
It seems to me that American does not get it. Any American who put himself in a dangerous condition has made a great mistake. people have to understand that working in Islamic countries could put his life in a risk. The girls whom kidnapped by Taliban and they were in missionary mission . Another American is held hostage in Pakistan. The American hostage in Lebanon and execute an army colonel. American are acting as a dummy and never learn from mistakes of other. Is the state dept. inform every individual that fanatic are everywhere in Islamic world. We keep losing American lives because we act as a person who refuse to understand .
In Response

by: Jay Ray from: Jacksonville
August 21, 2014 4:38 PM
I'm afraid I must agree with you. I am not interested in the activity of a hostile country if it place any american life in danger. Journalists, consultants, etc please stop going. Those in charge, stop demanding your people go. Missionaries, Doctors , overall dogooders,stay clear. Perhaps you can do good for the vast majority of the people. However, it's not the vast majority we need to worry about. It those small powerful, fanaticals. These terrorists do not care about you, your family or your good intentions.

by: Genesis from: Earth
August 19, 2014 9:38 PM
Genocide carried out by a barbaric 'way of life' condoned by the followers of Muhammad who have submitted to Islam is anything but the religion of peace.
This religion must be outlawed worldwide as a criminal organization.

by: M. C. from: US
August 19, 2014 9:15 PM
Obama betrayed our closest friends and allies in the Middle East to appease the likes of ISIL, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood...
Obama pressured Israel (is there anything closer to US than Israel? Israel is in our soul) to surrender to the demands of this Islamic malignancy now spreading in the Middle East... listen to the cheering of the Philistines when this despicable video was released... do we have any friends left..??

by: Igor from: Russia
August 19, 2014 8:59 PM
It is the policy of Obama administration which has been instigating, fomenting, and supporting verious groups of terrorists against Syrian government and that policy begins to backfire on innocent Americans.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 20, 2014 8:07 AM
Hey Igor... Russia had warned the US and NATO, that arming and training tens of thousands of (foreign) Sunni Muslim ultra-extremists from all around the world in Jordan and Turkey, (that had no loyalty or allegiance to anybody), to wage war on the Shia Muslim government of Syria, would spread the war to the surrounding countries, and start a Sunni/Shia Muslim religious war...... but the US and NATO didn't listen, did they?
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs