Extremists 'told family Foley would be killed'

Washington - Jihadists told the family of American journalist James Foley this month that he would be executed, one of the media outlets he worked for said on Wednesday, after he was beheaded.

Philip Balboni, chief executive of news site GlobalPost, to which Foley contributed while covering the war in Libya and then Syria before his abduction there in 2012, said the journalist's captors had been in touch in the weeks before his murder.

"We've had communication with the captors, and there was at one time a receptivity to a negotiation that would lead to a release," Balboni told MSNBC television.

"It's impossible to say because the kidnappers ceased to communicate with us, with the family."

Balboni then stated that, after the beginning of US air strikes in Iraq - the first since the end of the Iraq war - the Islamic State warned the Foleys that their son would be killed.

"Innocent journalist"

"We have not released this, but there was one communication after the bombing began that went to the family that stated that Jim would be executed," he said.

"We hoped and prayed that it would not and we did everything we could ourselves to communicate back to them that Jim was just an innocent journalist who loved the Syrian people, who understood Islam and only wanted to tell the story of the Syrian people."

Asked if he believed the bombing campaign was connected to Foley's murder, Balboni said: "the onset of the bombing, which was done for very good and sufficient reason by our government, perhaps was the thing that sealed Jim's fate."

But he stressed that the Foley family does not blame their son's death on President Barack Obama's decision to launch air strikes.

Remaining hostages

In early August the United States began bombing IS forces in northern Iraq in a bid to prevent a feared genocide as jihadists closed in on thousands of members of Iraq's Yazidi minority.

Later US air raids were conducted in support of Iraqi forces near Mosul, where extremists were battling for control of a major dam.

GlobalPost has led the two-year effort to find and free Foley. Balboni said several other Westerners were taken hostage in Syria and elsewhere, and that he was "virtually certain" that ransoms were paid to gain their freedom.

"We are so deeply sorry that we couldn't bring Jim home safely," he said.

Balboni and the family were now focusing on the remaining hostages, including an American which IS has threatened to kill unless Obama calls off the air strikes.

"We know what they've done, and we have to believe that they're more than capable of doing this again."

Read more on: james foley syria libya iraq us
Bonnie Cape 2014-08-21 08:10:01 AM
They'll probably still kill the remaining American hostage. Even if Obama does by some far off chance call off the air strikes.
David Jones 2014-08-21 08:11:29 AM
It is extremely tragic that this young journalist has died in such a barbaric and shocking way.. But there is also a 21 year old USA young man who was fighting for IDF whose rifle was found next to his body after he had gone missing last Sunday. It is said that big news networks in USA and Britain are not covering his sad story.
CraigJoseph 2014-08-21 08:18:48 AM
How do these terrorists look in the mirror everyday? Taking a life is disgusting. To take it in such a savage and brutal manner, is extremely disturbing.
SunshinyDay 2014-08-21 08:25:07 AM
These people have absolutely no right to do this to people. No right at all.
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-21 08:51:31 AM
Let me go back in history a bit here. The US used Osama Bin Laden as an excuse to start a war. They blew up twin towers. Osama Bin Laden = CIA operative. No proof that Bin Laden was responsible for any attacks. Except that which the US/Zionist media reported on and brainwashed the public. They took out Gaddafi as he would be a great obstacle when the Zionists invaded Palestine with continuous bombing of innocent people. Palestine was bombed. Ceasefires put in place and apparently broken by Hamas. Why? Because Israel said so but nothing was reported on when Israel broke ceasefires!! An army then invaded Iraq and took back what was stolen from the people of Iraq. I have seen footage of this army handing out money to people, sending the wounded/sick to hospital and handing out medicines, handing out food and water to the people, forgiving Iraqi soldiers who pledged allegiance to the US army when they invaded and they joined this new army. I need to ask the question... What if US/Still faithful Iraqi soldiers have dressed up as 'terrorists' and beheaded this poor US reporter to make the public and leaders of Indonesia believe that the murder was committed by ISIS fighters? I will not believe any reports via US/Zionist owned media houses! What about the senseless killings of the Zionists extremists on the innocent children, women of Gaza? The world just carried on with their lives!! But as soon as 1 US citizen is murdered, the whole world must stand up against extremism.
Viman Singh 2014-08-21 08:52:06 AM
I dont think all islamic people are terrorist and pigs. But it would be nice to see muslim people stand up against this kind of barbaric acts with islam.
VoxPopuli 2014-08-21 09:02:52 AM
There would be no ISIS, and no Foley beheading, no 175k dead in syria, no thousand dead in Iraq, if it wasn't for the actions of USofA, Britain, Qatar and KSA funding, supporting, training and equipping terrorists in Syria that spiralled out of their control to the point where they now have to kill its own creation! ISIS have been doing this since its inception in syria back in 2011, nobody bothered until ISIS were able to fund itself from looting in iraq and is no longer under US control that they're starting to make news as extremists!
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-21 09:15:27 AM
@BRI. No need to get upset and verbally attack people. I have stated true, hard facts not any conspiracy or fictionalized story. Let me ask this question.. How much research have you done on this war since inception in 2001? Did you believe all the nonsense that was reported on via US/Zionist media? I do not believe any information until I have confirmed the authenticity of that information especially if it comes via US/Zionist reporters/media. So Bri, please do some research on what is actually going on instead of believing any nonsense that is reported on.
Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg 2014-08-21 09:22:00 AM
It is beyond me how anyone calling himself religious can commit such a crime, and then be such a coward not to show his face. If one believe in an eye for an eye, his day will come too.
Joubs1957 2014-08-21 09:34:54 AM
So why now does the ANC not condemn this barbaric act? They only condemn Israel for inherently defending itself against unscrupulous and indiscriminate rocket attacks!