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

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs