Islamic State Beheads American, Threatens Second American

The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Islamic State terrorists made good Tuesday on threats to kill Americans if President Obama launched airstrikes against terrorist strongholds in Iraq.

Jihadists released a video of an American identified as James Wright Foley, 40, being beheaded while wearing an orange prison-style jumpsuit similar to those worn by detainees as Guantanamo Bay. An “organized gang” had kidnapped Foley – freelance photojournalist from Rochester, N.H. while working for Agence France Presse – from an Internet café in Binesh, Syria on Nov. 22, 2012.

A masked jihadist wearing all black is shown in the graphic video cutting off Foley’s head. The video quickly was taken down.

A Twitter post showing an image of the beheading blames President Obama: “Looke (sic) Obama. You Killed this man.”

The video opened with Obama announcing airstrikes against the Islamic State and cuts to a title “A Message to America. ” Foley is shown kneeling next to the jihadist.

“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers – the U.S. government,” Foley said before his beheading. “What will happen to me is only the result of their complacency and criminality. I have a message to my beloved parents, ‘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.'”

Foley then exhorts his brother, John, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, to think about the lives he destroys and about President Obama’s decision to bomb Iraq. “When your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people, they signed my death certificate,” Foley said.

The jihadist then chastises the U.S. government about its “aggression” against the Islamic State, saying the U.S. Air Force attacks its forces daily in Iraq and caused casualties among Muslims.

“You are no longer fighting an insurgency; we are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide,” the jihadist said in accented English before killing Foley. “Aggression against the Islamic State is aggression against Muslims worldwide. They have accepted the Islamic caliphate as their leadership.”

He concludes by telling Obama that he has deprived Muslims living under the Islamic State’s rule of their right to live in safety and therefore his decision will result in American bloodshed.

The video concludes with the jihadist standing next to an American identified as Steven Joel Sotloff, a Pinecrest, Fla. native who wrote articles for Foreign Policy magazine, dressed in the same sort of orange jumpsuit Foley wore. Sotloff’s fate is in Obama’s hands, the jihadist said.

A Twitter post from an account @ Aldawlawy showing Sotloff being threatened says, “Message to # America from the Caliphate State @ BarackObama : The life of this American [next] on your Decision # ISIS.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) is a non-profit research group founded by Steven Emerson in 1995. It is recognized as the world’s most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups. For more than a decade, the IPT has investigated the operations, funding, activities and front groups of Islamic terrorist and extremist groups in the United States and around the world.