Mother of slain journalist 'never prouder' of son

Washington - The mother of American journalist James Foley, apparently executed by Islamic State jihadists, on Wednesday paid tribute to her son who she said had died trying to expose the suffering of the Syrian people.

Condolences and shocked messages poured in after the Islamist group released a video showing a masked militant beheading a man resembling Foley, who has been missing since he was seized in Syria November 2012.

"We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people", Foley's mother Diane said in a Facebook message to supporters.

"We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.

"We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person."

A second captive, said to be US reporter Steven Sotloff, was shown alive in the video, along with a warning that his fate rests on US President Barack Obama ordering a halt to strikes against the jihadist group which seized swathes of Syria and Iraq.

On Twitter, fellow journalists implored users not to view the graphic video of the execution, instead sharing images of Foley in the field.

Dick Costolo, the CEO of the social media network, tweeted: "We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery."

Thousands posted messages of sorrow on the Facebook site Free James Foley, while British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that if true, the murder was "shocking and depraved."

'Finally found his passion’

Foley was an experienced correspondent who had covered the war in Libya before heading to Syria to follow the revolt against Bashar Assad's regime, contributing to news site GlobalPost, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other media outlets.

He came to journalism as a second career, enrolling in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University aged 35. He had previously instructed inner-city students and taught reading and writing to prison inmates.

"He realised that the stories he wanted to tell were real stories, stories about people's lives and he saw journalism as a vehicle for talking about what's really happening in the world", Diane Foley said in an earlier interview with the Columbia Journalism Review.

His father, John, told the same publication that before his ill-fated trip to Syria "Jim said that he finally had found his passion."

Marius Fourie 2014-08-20 05:48:27 PM
You have all the reason in the world to be proud. I don't think I have the guts to go to Syria
Deepandsoulfulhouse DjVido Buka 2014-08-20 05:54:14 PM
Her response suggests that She is a strong Woman. She raised a wonderful Human being, may his soul rest in Peace.
Sean Lock 2014-08-20 05:54:52 PM
I want to know what gives islam the right to play G*d !!!! A so called religion of peace and love. If that is the G*d you serve I would rather want to burn in HELL !!!!!!!
Ashveer Ramsunder 2014-08-20 06:04:43 PM
Utterly tragic.... the irony is that he was brutally murdered whilst attempting to bring world attention and focus tothe plight of the very people that killed him. There's nothing more tragic, really. Rest in peace
Enig Ma 2014-08-20 06:05:59 PM
Quran 8: 12: "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" Khalid bin Walid(ra) beheaded 70,000 Persian prisoners of war after the battle of Ullias, its 100% Islaam, in case a munafiq says it isn’t. — Abu Mansoor (@TaifaMansoora) August 19, 2014 Therefore, do not blame IS only, blame the quran too. There simply is no context within which these words of allah can be interpreted differently from the way IS interprets them. NO CONTEXT CAN POSSIBLY ALTER THE MEANING OF THIS INSTRUCTION.
Jane Dawson 2014-08-20 06:28:55 PM
Condolences to the family. May they find some peace and closure, now knowing what happened to their son. How terrible xxx
Ennio Morricone 2014-08-20 06:30:07 PM
Very sad thing
Anthoula Joshua 2014-08-20 06:31:01 PM
My condolences to the family. I know it cannot be easy, however you have worried for 2 years as a mother, not knowing wether your son is alive or not. Now at least you know. Tragic that you don't have his remains to give him a proper burial or that you never had the chance to say goodbye. There are many mothers in this world who understand how you feel. You are in our prayers.
Kauthar Ken Patrick 2014-08-20 06:35:34 PM
@doug how many muslims have the west killed???
Dillighted 2014-08-20 07:04:44 PM
He hardly "gave his life", it was brutally taken. The man hardly chose to be a martyr.