SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-A gruesome video showing the beheading of an American journalist by the ISIL terrorist group appears to be authentic, the White House said Wednesday.
“The US Intelligence Community has analyzed the recently released video showing US citizens James Foley and Steven Sotloff,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “We have reached the judgment that this video is authentic. We will continue to provide updates as they are available.”
Hayden’s statement came approximately an hour before US President Barack Obama was scheduled to address the nation on the killing.
The video, released online on Tuesday, starts with a clip of Obama announcing his authorization for 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 James Wright 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 video goes on to show another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, and threatens his execution if the US does not stop its airstrikes.
Hayden, the NSC spokeswoman, had said Tuesday that “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.”
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 communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds while executing a large number of civilians and soldiers.