Jihadist group the Islamic State posted a video purportedly showing the execution of American journalist James Foley and threatened to kill another US journalist unless the United States gets out of Iraq.
The nearly five-minute video titled “A Message To America” showed a masked militant who speaks English with a British accent beheading a man resembling Foley. The freelance photo journalist been missing since he was captured by the militants in the northern Syrian province of Idlib on November 22, 2012.
The second journalist, who appears by the end of the video, is believed to be Steven Sotloff. The militant says Sotloff’s life depended on how US acted in Iraq.
The execution is carried out in an open desert area with signs to indicate the location, which may be either in Iraq or Syria.
Foley is seen kneeling on the ground, wearing an orange outfit that resembles those worn by prisoners held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.
In, the Islamic State declares that Foley was killed after Obama ordered air strikes against IS positions in northern Iraq.
“Any aggression towards the Islamic State is an aggression towards Muslims from all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic caliphate as their leadership,” the masked militant declares.
President Barack Obama is yet to make an official statement on the issue with the White House saying that US intelligence was studying the authenticity of the video.
“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,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.
Foley was an experienced correspondent who had covered the war in Libya before heading to Syria to follow the revolt against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, contributing to news site GlobalPost, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other media outlets.