James Foley, an American journalist, was beheaded by the Islamic State recently, according to a video released by the jihadist group. Foley went missing in Syria in 2012. In the video, the Islamic State explains that the killing is in retaliation for American air strikes against the group in Iraq. They also appeared to show another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, on the video, claiming that if American operations continue he will be killed too.
One of the jihadists in the video appears to be a native English speaker and have a British accent — hundreds of holders of Western passports have reportedly joined the group in Iraq and Syria. (The U.S. intelligence community is still trying to verify the video itself.)
Foley worked for the U.S. military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, in Afghanistan in 2011. When he was reporting from Libya, also in 2011, Foley was held captive by Qaddafi-loyalist militias for 44 days. He later wrote a series for the Global Post about the experience. Clare Gillis, another American journalist covering the Middle East, wrote an essay about her friendship with Foley for Syria Deeply in 2013.