Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that allegedly shows the beheading of freelance American journalist James Foley who was kidnapped in northern Syria on November 22, 2012 after working for Global Post, an online U.S. based publication, and Agence France-Presse.
The video titled, “Message to America” begins with U.S. President Obama announcing his intention for the United States to attack Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.
An Islamic militant in the video speaks in a British accent and explains that Mr. Foley’s execution is in retaliation for the recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq that President Obama started in early August against selective Islamic State militants after the radical Islamic group, formerly known as ISIS and ISIL, seized control over the Mosul Damn and terrorized ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq.
Mr. Foley is pictured in the video wearing bright orange prison clothing, kneeling in a desert next to the armed hooded Islamic State militant dressed in black.
Mr. Foley was heard reading a written statement that appeared coerced and critical of U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, saying the recent U.S. airstrikes was “the last nail in my coffin.”
“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacent criminality” Mr. Foley said.
In the graphic video, the Islamic State militant was seen beheading the American journalist with a knife.
The video ends with a threat to kill Steven Sotloff, another American freelance journalist who was kidnapped, and pictured kneeling and wearing the same type of orange prison outfit in the desert.
President Obama was briefed about the video by deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement, “If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”