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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.