Free James Foley Facebook Page
The brutality of Islamic State just came home.
Reports emerged yesterday that the terrorist group—seemingly having sprouted from the epicenter of hell—not only beheaded American freelance journalist James Foley, but filmed it. And then released the clip online. The fact that Islamic State’s social media presence is massive and elaborate just makes the grisliness of their actions all the more horrifying.
The video apparently (we say “apparently” because we’ve truthfully not watched it ourselves and given both its graphic nature and Islamic State’s perverted agenda with this act, we encourage you to follow suit) opens with the statement: "Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims," in both English and Arabic.
It sickens us to even begin to describe what happens next, but James Foley is shown, outfitted in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling in the desert. Behind him is a man dressed all in black, complete with a black mask. He has a knife.
James Foley, no doubt prompted by a script, is coerced to say:
"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 complacency and criminality."
In heartrending, halting speech, he goes on:
“I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope of freedom of seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.”
The masked militant then speaks with a British accent as he announces:
"This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State. Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide."
Foley is then beheaded.
If this isn’t harrowing enough, the video concludes with the visual of another man in an orange jumpsuit—and a threat. The name "Steven Joel Sotloff" flashes on the screen as the masked executioner says:
"The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision."
We’re fresh out of words to describe this atrocity/the atrocity that is Islamic State—all we have are spinning heads and general nausea. This is however the first time Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) has publicly murdered an American.
On Monday, a Pew poll revealed that 54% of Americans supported the U.S.’s targeted air-strikes in the region. And you know what? Drastic measures may need to transpire. As we described yesterday, Islamic State has grown incredibly efficient at governing their controlled territories, rendering them an increasingly formidable threat to combat.
All foreign policy considerations aside, our thoughts are of course first and foremost with James Foley’s family. We salute his heroism work and what we can only imagine was unspeakable trauma, having been captured in Syria in November of 2012. The 40 year-old had also previously been kidnapped during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, spending six weeks under the rule of militants there in 2011.
But he returned to work as a photojournalist, insisting: “I believe that frontline journalism is important. Without these photos and videos and firsthand experience, we really can’t tell the world how bad it might be.”