The mother of a murdered man believed to be US photojournalist James Foley has implored his executors to spare the lives of any remaining hostages.
A video of a man purported to be Foley being beheaded in a desert by an ISIS militant was posted to social media early this morning. The execution followed this prepared statement read by Foley in which he told his brother – a member of the U.S. Air Force – to “think about what you are doing”:
My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity, and don’t accept some minor compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq.
I call on my brother John, who is a member of the U.S. Air Force: Think about what you are doing. Think about the lives you destroy, including those of your own family … I wish I could have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.
Foley’s mum Diane posted this tribute on a Facebook page, Free James Foley, dedicated to her son around 11.30am, AEST:
Foley was believed to captured in northwest Syria on November 27 – Thanksgiving Day in the US – in 2012. He was in Syrian military detention, held as a prisoner of Bashar al Assad’s regime.
He was a Global Post contributor, and the online publication spent “many, many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars” to find him during his first six months in captivity, according to a report by Boston public radio station WBUR.
On May 3, 2013, Global Post reported that it “believe[d] the Syrian government is holding [Foley] in a detention center near Damascus,” a determination reached after “a five-month investigation inside Syria and the wider Middle East.”
If the man in the video was Foley it remains to be seen how and whether he was transferred from possible regime custody to ISIS, which was formed in April 2013.
Foley had reported from a number of other conflict zones, including Afghanistan and Libya, where he was held captive by the Gaddafi regime for 44 days.
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