Family remembers journalist Jim Foley

World Today

Journalist James FoleyIn this June 17, 2011 photo, journalist James Foley receives applause from students at the Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham, Mass. Foley had been released a month prior after being detained for six weeks in Libya. Students at the school had written government leaders to work for his release. Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, and said they killed him because the U.S. had launched airstrikes in northern Iraq. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh)

Late Wednesday, the White House confirmed that the U.S. sent troops into Syria this summer to try to rescue James Foley and a number of other Americans held captive by Islamic State militants. But they were unable to find them. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.

Jim Foley’s boss at the Global Post said just last week, Foley’s kidnappers threatened to kill him in response to U.S. bombings in Iraq. They sent his family a hate-filled email and ignored the Foley’s pleas for mercy.

The Foley family had been through this before, only with a different outcome. Wednesday his parents called their son a hero, a martyr, for freedom.

“He felt this was his passion, his mission in life. It’s what he wanted to do,” said John Foley of his son.

Diane Foley, Jim’s mom said, “He just felt that the world had to know about the evil. The world had to know about what is happening with the suffering of children.”

Family remembers journalist Jim Foley

Late Wednesday, the White House confirmed that the U.S. sent troops into Syria this summer to try to rescue James Foley and a number of other Americans held captive by Islamic State militants. But they were unable to find them. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reports.

An emotional message from the family of 40-year-old American freelance journalist, Jim Foley, after the White House confirmed that the video depicting his beheading at the hands of an Islamic State militant was real.

“We tried too hard to deter him. He could have done many other things, but he felt to be a witness to people in the conflict,” said Diane Foley.

The Foleys say Jim was deeply moved to act. He raised money for an ambulance in Aleppo. They described him as a courageous and fearless kid who grew up with a passion for stories.

That passion would take him to the frontlines of conflicts around the world and into the hands of extremist captors twice.

In 2011, Foley recounted his first time in captivity in Libya, near Benghazi, where Gaddafi loyalists captured him and three other journalists, killing one. Eerily, he warned young journalists about the costs of following in his footsteps.

“It’s not worth your life, no matter what romantic ideal you have, no matter what ethic you think you have, you know, it’s never worth it. I’m 37 years old, I should have known that a long time ago,” Foley said in a talk at Northwestern University.

But Jim Foley could not resist the allure of capturing history. In late 2012, he was abducted again, this time near the Turkish border with Syria. An employer later confirmed he was believed to be in the hands of militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. It is unclear how he came to be in the custody of the Islamic State. The last time his family had evidence he was still alive was late 2013.

Jim Foley’s family takes comfort that his last words in a video meant for hate were of his love for his family.

“We know Jim is free. He’s finally free. So we are so proud of him. Happy for him. He’s the inspiration for us, for so many others.”

Though the video of Jim’s beheading promises more such violence if the U.S. airstrikes don’t stop, President Barack Obama promised today to keep up U.S. military intervention in Iraq and wherever Americans are in harm’s way.