U.S. intelligence says video of Foley beheading authentic
Image by BOSTON GLOBE/MGN ONLINE
U.S. intelligence has analyzed the video of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and has determined it is authentic, according to CNN.
The video was posted on YouTube on Tuesday. In the video, the 40-year-old reporter from Rochester, New Hampshire, is seen kneeling next to a man dressed in black. After Foley reads a message about his "real killer" being America, the man beheads Foley. The video has since been removed by YouTube.
The announcement about the video on Wednesday morning was made by National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. President Obama spoke to the nation shortly before 1 p.m. (ET). Obama said the entire world is "appalled" by Foley's killing and the United States will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite his brutal murder.
Obama offered condolences to Foley's family on Wednesday morning. He also talked about how the Islamic State abducts women and children and targets Christians and other minorities.
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The video also showed another captive. The executioner in the video said that that man's fate would depend on President Obama. It is believed that man is U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped at the Syria-Turkey border in 2013.
The beheading was in retribution for U.S. airstrikes in norther Iraq. Despite that, the U.S. conducted nearly a dozen new airstrikes since the video was posted on Tuesday. Since Aug. 8, there have been at least 77 U.S. airstrikes on Islamic State targets. It is not known how many deaths resulted from those airstrikes.
U.S. and British intelligence officials are trying to identify the executioner in the video, who speaks with a British accent. At this time, they believe that he might be from the United Kingdom, according to ABC News. The man identifies himself as being with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the video.
Foley's beheading is the first time the Islamic State has killed an American citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, according to Huffington Post/Associated Press.
Foley was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, in northwest Syria, near the border with Turkey. He was on assignment for the U.S.-based online news outlet GlobalPost at the time.
Twitter announced Wednesday morning that it is blocking accounts that are posting images or video of Foley's beheading, according to USA Today. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted, "We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery." Costolo then linked to a New York Times article about Foley's beheading.