BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A video released by the militant group ISIS appears to show the execution of New Hampshire journalist James Foley.
Foley was last seen on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. The 40-year-old was kidnapped while covering the conflict in Syria for a French news agency and Boston-based GlobalPost.
Two U.S. officials say they believe Foley was the victim shown in the grisly video. President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about the killing on Wednesday.
Jim’s mom, Diane Foley, released a statement on the “Free James Foley” Facebook page Tuesday night.
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.”
Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, said the company had been informed that the FBI was evaluating the video to determine whether it was authentic. “We ask for your prayers for Jim and his family,” he said.
Three years ago, while Foley was working for GlobalPost, he was kidnapped in Libya and spent six weeks in captivity before being released.
WBZ-TV’s Katie Brace Reports
In a CBS interview in 2011, Foley talked about the ordeal.
“I jumped up, tried to say we were journalists,” Foley said. “I was hit several times with the butt of an AK-47, punched and dragged into a vehicle with my hands tied behind my back.”
He said the most difficult thing was not being able to tell anybody they were in captivity for 44 days.
Several senior U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation said the Islamic State very recently threatened to kill Foley to avenge the crushing airstrikes over the last two weeks against militants advancing on Mount Sinjar, the Mosul dam and the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
Both areas are in northern Iraq, which has become a key front for the Islamic State as its fighters travel to and from Syria.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the hostage situation by name.
Since Aug. 8, the U.S. military has struck more than 70 Islamic State targets — including security checkpoints, vehicles and weapons caches. It’s not clear how many militants have been killed in the strikes, although it’s likely that some were.
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