WASHINGTON – In the revenge for United States air strikes, Islamic State militant group has released a video online purporting to show the beheading of US journalist James Foley, missing from Syria since 2012.
The militants said the killing was revenge for US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.
“He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.” Foley’s mother Diane said on Facebook.
According to the reports, Caitlin Hayden US security spokeswoman said if the video was genuine, the US would be “appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist”.
Foley has reported extensively across the Middle East, working for the US publication Global Post and other media outlets including the French news agency AFP.
In the video, titled A Message to America, a man who appears to be James Foley is dressed in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling in desert-like terrain beside an armed man dressed in black.
The militant, who speaks with a British accent and identifies himself as an IS member, says the journalist’s death is the direct result of US bombing of IS targets in Iraq.
Another captive, identified as American journalist Steven Sotloff, is shown at the end of the video, with the warning that his fate depends on President Barack Obama’s next move.
Mr Sotloff was abducted a year ago in northern Syria, close to the border with Turkey.
In a statement, the Global Post asked for “prayers for Jim and his family”, adding that it was waiting for the video to be verified.
US officials confirmed that they had seen the video and were trying to establish its authenticity.
President Barack Obama had also been informed.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: “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.”