American journalist James Wright Foley, believed to have been abducted in Syria in 2012, became the subject of a harrowing propaganda video released Tuesday in which Islamic State jihadists beheaded him to “send a message” to the United States. In a public statement on Facebook, Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, honors her son and requests privacy for her family at this time.
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim,” writes Foley, noting, “he gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.” Foley calls for the Islamic State terrorists to show mercy upon those abducted that may yet still be alive, particularly the American captives who, she notes, have no control over U.S. foreign policy.
In addition to Foley, one other captive appears in the Islamic State video, which has since been removed from YouTube. He has been identified as Steven Joel Soltoff, a journalist who has previously contributed to Time, The National Interest, and Media Line. Soltoff is believed to have been captured between April and August 2013, when he sent his last tweet.