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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

US working to authenticate video showing ISIS militants beheading NH journalist Foley

Americans across the nation Tuesday afternoon joined family and friends of James W. Foley in praying for the safety of the New Hampshire-based journalist after a video purporting to show his execution by Islamic State militants appeared online.

The National Security Council is aware of the video. NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told CNN late Tuesday that the agency was “working as quickly as possible” to determine the video’s authenticity. ...

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Americans across the nation Tuesday afternoon joined family and friends of James W. Foley in praying for the safety of the New Hampshire-based journalist after a video purporting to show his execution by Islamic State militants appeared online.

The National Security Council is aware of the video. NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told CNN late Tuesday that the agency was “working as quickly as possible” to determine the video’s authenticity.

Foley, a Rochester resident whose parents, John and Diane Foley, still live in the city, was last seen Nov. 22, 2012, in northwest Syria near the Turkish border. He was reportedly forced into an unmarked car by an unidentified gunman who fired shots into the air, according to eyewitness accounts reported in the New York Daily News.

Foley attended and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of
Journalism in 2008. He began freelancing, soon picking up work for a number of major global media networks like Agence France-Presse and GlobalPost.

At the time of his disappearance he was working for GlobalPost.

In the video, which briefly appeared on YouTube Tuesday before it was taken down for graphic content, Foley, wearing an orange jumpsuit, is seen kneeling next to a man dressed in black.

According to the CNN report, Foley reads a message, presumably scripted by his captors, that his “real killer” is America.

“I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again,” Foley can be heard saying in the video.

He is then shown being beheaded.

“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,” Hayden, the NSC spokeswoman, told CNN.

Tuesday evening, “Free James Foley,” the Facebook page created in support Foley and his family, asked its thousands of followers to be patient and “keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers.

“We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information,” the message states.

Foley, the oldest of five children, was a teacher and mentor who worked with disadvantaged individuals helping them to improve their lives, according to the Facebook page. He began covering the Middle East as a freelancer about five years ago.

Foley had been kidnapped once before, taken captive in Libya in April 2011 along with three other reporters. He was released six months later.

Afterward, he said that what saddened him most was knowing that he was causing his family to worry.

Material from several news
outlets was used in this report. Dean Shalhoup can be reached
at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashua
telegraph.com. Also follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).