The horrific footage of the beheading of American journalist James Foley is being analyzed by federal investigators, who have identified the social media account that originally posted the video. The person who posted the video is part of a group of Islamic extremists that are close to the leadership of the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIS.
Fox News reported that a counterterrorism source revealed that the information suggests that top Islamic State leaders such as Abu Omar al Baghdadi gave their blessing to the operation to kill Foley.
Foley was kidnapped in 2012 while he was reporting on the uprising that took place in Syria. His captors reportedly demanded $132.5 million from his parents and concessions from Washington, but Islamic State posted the video online last week to show his execution.
Meanwhile, the UK Times reported that forensics experts have suggested that the Foley execution video was staged to look like the journalist was killed during filming. The experts said that it was likely that Foley was executed off-camera.
— The Courier-Mail (@couriermail) August 25, 2014
“After enhancements, the knife can be seen to be drawn across the upper neck at least six times, with no blood evidence to the point the picture fades to black,” said a forensic analyst to the British newspaper. He also cited blips in Foley’s speech that suggested that the journalist may have had to repeat a line.
The British forensics company, however, clarified that were not disputing the fact that an execution of Foley had happened at some point.
Foley’s parents, Diane and John Foley, believe that their son’s death poses a challenge to people to raise awareness on what is happening in the Middle East. “So many people are suffering in the Middle East right now, and there are many hostages being held captive, so this is a mass for all of those who are hoping for peace, and also in Jim’s memory,” said Diane at a healing mass held for Foley.