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Nearly two years after going missing in Syria, American freelance photojournalist James Foley appeared in a video released by the militant group The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). It shows Foley being beheaded and the life of another journalist threatened as well. As the U.S. works quickly to verify the video’s authenticity, Foley’s parents released a statement saying that they remain proud of their son.
Foley was working for the U.S.-based news outlet GlobalPost at the time of his disappearance. According to NBC News, it does appear that it is Foley in the video, wearing an orange jumpsuit and kneeling in a desert. A militant stands behind him, speaking in English. The video also includes clips of President Obama’s recent White House address on ordering airstrikes in Iraq.
The militant also claims that ISIS has Steven Joel Sotloff, another journalist who has gone missing in the region. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the militant says.
Following the news, Foley’s parents posted a heartfelt message on a Facebook page dedicated to finding their son. Foley was a native of New Hampshire and reported extensively on the Middle East. He was arrested while covering Libya in May 2011. He went missing in Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people,” the message from his mother, Diane Foley, reads. “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.”
Meanwhile, Fox News notes that European and American officials are scrambling to identify the English-speaking militant in the video. Analysts are also trying to figure out where the video was filmed, based on the scenery behind Foley.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes did brief Obama on the video on Air Force One Tuesday.
GlobalPost reports that the video first showed up on YouTube. The site added that the FBI spoke with Foley’s family and the bureau believes that the video is real.