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American Journalist Beheaded in Iraq


From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (

The Islamic State on Tuesday posted a video that appeared to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley, a 1996 Marquette University graduate who was kidnapped in November 2012 while covering the Syrian civil war.

The gruesome video called on President Barack Obama to halt attacks on Islamic fighters in northern Iraq and threatened a second execution of a U.S. captive. It was posted on YouTube — which quickly deleted it — and then disseminated on social media.

The U.S. National Security Council issued a statement saying intelligence officers were studying the video.

"We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by ISIL," said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council. (The Islamic State, an al-Qaida spinoff, is also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.) "The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. 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."

Tuesday evening, a message from Foley's mother, Diane, was posted on the Free James Foley page on Facebook.

"We have never been prouder of our son Jim," the message said. "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."

Marquette University issued a statement Tuesday night that said, "The Marquette community is deeply saddened by the death of alumnus and freelance journalist, James Foley ... We extend our heartfelt prayers and wishes for healing to James' family and friends during this very difficult time.

"James had a heart for social justice and used his immense talents to tell the difficult stories in the hopes that they might make a difference in the world — a measure of his character for which we could not be prouder."

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