Islamic State claims it executed American photojournalist

World Today

James Foley FILE – In this May 27, 2011 file photo American Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., poses for a photo in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

The Obama administration says it has not confirmed the authenticity of a video that purports to show the killing of James Foley, an American journalist, by Islamic State militants.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the administration has seen the video and that the intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine if it is authentic.

“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,” Hayden said in a statement.

Foley, a freelance journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, went missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

The release of the video allegedly showing his death comes amid a U.S. airstrike campaign against Islamic State targets in Iraq. The group has declared an Islamic state in the territory it controls in Iraq and neighboring Syria, imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

On Tuesday night, Foley’s mother released this statement via the “Free James Foley” Facebook page.

“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. 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. We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.” – Diane Foley

The Washington Post reports the online video shows what the militant group claims is the execution of Foley.  Another prisoner also appears in the video. A masked executioner identifies the man as Steven Joel Sotloff.  Sotloff is a freelance journalist and disappeared in Syria in August 2013.

Raymond Tanter is a scholar of The Washington Institute researching U.S. policy options toward Iran and a former member of the White House National Security Council staff during the Reagan Administration.

Video purports to show American's execution

Video purports to show American's execution

Raymond Tanter is a scholar of The Washington Institute researching U.S. policy options toward Iran and a former member of the White House National Security Council staff during the Reagan Administration.

Report compiled with information from The Associated Press.