ISIS kills American journalist in protest

Around the world Wednesday night, the State Department is asking for about 300 military personnel to be sent to Iraq to provide security around Baghdad. Only hours after the posting of an online video showing the beheading of an American journalist, the U.S. launched more than a dozen air strikes. Wednesday, the U.S. military tried to rescue captive Americans in Syria last summer, but couldn’t find them. One of those captives was journalist James Foley. This is how Foley’s family and friends remember him – as a curious and compassionate journalist, with a lens on the world.

“He was just a hero,” declared mother Diane Foley.

“You know from the videos his last words were ‘I wish I had more time to see my family,'” said father John Foley.

But the last known images of the 40-year-old journalist was a video released by the militant group ISIS, showing Foley kneeling moments before he is beheaded.

“We need the courage and the prayers now to continue without him. He was an inspiration for us and so many others.”

The journalist had been abducted in northern Syria on Thanksgiving Day of 2012. In the video that shows his execution, his Islamic captors say he is being killed because of the U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq.

“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group ISIS,” stated President Obama.

The president vowed that the United States would do whatever is needed to bring those responsible to justice.

“There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread.”

Without giving details, administration officials say special forces tried to rescue Foley and other American hostages earlier this summer, but they were unable to find their location. In the video of Foley in Aleppo, Syria in 2012, colleagues praised him as brave and tireless, drawn to the people who were caught up in the chaos of war.

“I believe that front-line journalism is important,” said James Foley. “Without these photos and videos and firsthand experiences, we can’t really tell the world how bad it might be.”

Foley had been in harm’s way before, captured by insurgents in Libya in 2011 and imprisoned for six weeks. Foley witnessed the death of one of his fellow journalists.

“Anton’s most likely dead and we’re captured, and nobody knows where we are.”

While Foley is being praised for his courage, the militant group ISIS is being denounced for its cowardice.

“Seeing the risk, but he thought it was worth it to bring that story home – to bear witness, as they say,” said Tony Perry, longtime correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

“I don’t think it’s going to influence our policy; our policy is going to be whatever it’s going to be, regardless of these cowardly videos.”

Perry has been covering the U.S. mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says the ISIS video is meant to shock and disturb.

“These ISIS folks, the interesting thing about them is they don’t need money, so it’s not kidnap for ransom. It’s kidnap and now execution for political impact.”

The video from ISIS also shows another American, journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped at the Syria-Turkey border last year. The terrorists say they will also kill Sotloff if the U.S. does not halt the air strikes in Iraq.

Categories: KUSI