The ISIL terrorist group has reportedly beheaded American journalist James Wright Foley, according to a video that surfaced online Tuesday.
The video starts with a clip of US President Barack Obama announcing the authorization of airstrikes against ISIL earlier this month and then cuts to a title scene that says “Message to America” before moving on to a desert scene where Foley is kneeling in orange clothes with a man wearing black standing next to him.
“I call on my friends, family and loved ones, to rise up against my real killers, the US government,” the man believed to be Foley says in the video.
“For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality. My message to my beloved parents, save me some dignity and don’t accept any meager compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq,” he continues.
Then the ISIL man, peaking in what may possibly be a British accent, addresses the US president directly, saying any attempt to “deny the rights of living in safety” under ISIL rule will result in “the bloodshed of your people.” The militant then decapitates Foley with a knife.
The White House said they have not yet confirmed the authenticity of the video.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council said it was working to determine whether the video is real.
“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,” Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “We will provide more information when it is available.”
Foley was on assignment for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the Boston-based media company Global Post when he disappeared in Syria in 2012.
The ISIL terrorist group, controlling large swaths of Iraq and Syria, has threatened to target Americans in any place if US airstrikes hit them.
The militants have terrorized entire Iraqi communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds while executing a large number of civilians and soldiers.