In a sick display of ideology and resolve, a video was released on YouTube last night showing a black-clad IS member speaking with a London accent threatening the United States before beheading “James Wright Foley, an American citizen.”
Foley was kidnapped on Thanksgiving day 2012 in Syria where he was freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the GlobalPost. Foley had worked in numerous conflict zones throughout both the Middle East and Northern Africa including Syria, Iraq, and Libya. He was briefly held captive while working in Libya.
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Before killing Foley, the jihadist said that the US has “been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State.” Immediately following the execution of Foley, the militant threatened to kill Steven Sotloff, another American journalist believed to be held by IS, if the United States continued military strikes against IS forces.
As a result of the beheading and the accent of the murderer, British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his vacation and returned to London to chair urgent meetings on the IS threat calling the video “shocking and depraved.” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has subsequently called the video genuine and added that both British and American intelligence agencies were working on identifying the voice on the tape.
“We are very concerned by the apparent fact that the murderer in question is British,” Mr. Hammond told the Telegraph. “We are urgently investigating.”
American journalist beheading: Appears “genuine”
“We haven’t absolutely verified it yet, but all the hallmarks point to it being genuine – an appalling example of the brutality” of IS, Hammond told the BBC. “We’ve been saying for a very long time that there are a significant number of British nationals both in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organizations. That is one of the reasons why this organization [IS] represents such a direct threat to the UK’s national security.”
IS is enjoying a groundswell of recruits from London to Berlin who are flocking to the region to join the recently declared caliphate to receive training and underscoring the security threat they pose outside of the Middle East.