ISIS beheads two journalists

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Photo courtesy of Washington Post

Photo courtesy of Washington Post

Photo courtesy of Washington Post

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Photo courtesy of Washington Post

Photo courtesy of Washington Post

By Emma Maxey

On Aug.19, the Islamic terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) released a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley. This video depicting the decapitation was meant to serve as a message to President Obama to stop America’s military involvement in the Iraq conflict.

Foley had been working for online news source GlobalPost when he disappeared in 2012 near the Syria-Turkey border. He had supposedly not been seen or heard from until this year’s video.

Another journalist appeared in the video of Foley’s killing, Steven Sotloff. ISIS militants threatened to kill Sotloff too if President Obama did not act soon enough. ISIS followed through on their threat and created another video when they decapitated Sotloff as well on Sept. 2. Both journalists were executed by an unidentified ISIS member dressed in black.

The killings have had a large effect on many. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of Foley’s home state New Hampshire said: “Our hearts are broken for the Foley family… James was an innocent civilian who was bravely performing his job as a journalist. This barbaric and heinous act shocks the conscience and highlights the truly evil nature of the terrorists we confront, who must be defeated.”

Foley’s mother, Diane, showed concern for remaining hostages (this was before Sotloff’s death), posting on the Free James Foley Facebook page: “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.”

Is there a reason ISIS has chosen to execute journalists in particular? Like Foley’s mother said: “they are innocents.” Foley and Sotloff appear to have just been doing their job, which is reporting the truth. Did these two reporters find out something they shouldn’t have, and so ISIS silenced them before information got out? There’s no telling. Maybe Foley and Sotloff were killed for no reason other than they were American and in the way. Whatever the case, these killings are tragedies. The world of honest journalism has doubtless been shaken.

 

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ISIS beheads two journalists