ABC News(EDGARTOWN, Mass.) — ISIS’ slaughter of American journalist James Foley was “brutal,” President Obama said Wednesday.
“The entire world is appalled,” the president said in Martha’s Vineyard. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday or every single day … People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.”
The terrorist group beheaded Foley in a grisly video posted online Tuesday evening. The U.S. intelligence community verified the video’s authenticity Wednesday morning.
According to one senior U.S. official, ISIS had recently threatened to kill Foley to avenge airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq, and the White House was aware of the threat prior to the posting of the video.
“A group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,” Obama said.
The president called Foley’s parents on Wednesday to offer his condolences. John and Diane Foley eulogized their son during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
“He was a courageous, fearless journalist,” Diane Foley said. “Jimmy had a big heart. … That’s what we shared with President Obama.”
“We just pray that Jim’s death can bring our country together in a stronger way in the values that Jim holds dear,” she said, before correcting herself to “held dear.”
“We beg compassion and mercy” for the other journalists held by ISIS, John Foley said. “There’s no reason for this slaughter.”
The video released Tuesday shows an ISIS militant wearing a black face mask addressing the president directly.
“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” he says.
Foley, clad in an orange jumpsuit, kneels next to the militant, who is clutching a knife.
“I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope of freedom of seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed,” Foley says before his on-camera execution.
After the gruesome beheading of Foley, the ISIS militant threatens the life of another American hostage — Steven Sotloff, who went missing in August.
Though he did not mention Sotloff specifically, Obama on Wednesday promised that, “the United States of America will continue to do what they must do to protect our people.”
“We will be vigilant. We will be relentless,” he added.
Foley was kidnapped by ISIS in 2012 while on assignment in Syria. Prior to his execution, U.S. officials say they used Turkish, Russian and Czech intermediaries to advocate for his release.
Earlier on Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron called the beheading “shocking and depraved.”
British officials said it was “apparent” that the ISIS militant in the video was from the United Kingdom and say they’re working to identify the individual.
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