Journalist James Foley′s parents pay tribute to son | News | DW | 20.08.2014

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Journalist James Foley's parents pay tribute to son

The parents of the journalist James Foley, murdered in Syria by the "Islamic State," have paid public tribute to their son. President Obama says the US will be relentless in pursuing justice for those who harm Americans.

The parents of a journalist executed by the group the group calling itself the "Islamic State" (IS) said their son died a hero.

Diane and John Foley addressed reporters regarding the brutal execution of their son James outside their home in New Hampshire Thursday afternoon. John Foley said the ordeal of their son's death felt like a bad dream, and Diane called her son's death "just evil."

"We're very proud of him. He was a courageous, fearless journalist, very compassionate American. I mean, the best of America," Diane Foley said.

US national security officials had earlier confirmed that a video showing Foley's beheading at the hands of the Islamic State was indeed authentic.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference while on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, called Foley's beheading shocking.

"Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world," Obama said. "The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless."

Obama has spoken with the Foley family following their son's death.

Foley's executioner in the video had a British accent, and UK authorities have launched a hunt for the man. British Prime Minister David Cameron called the beheading "barbaric and brutal."

With text in English and Arabic, the video shows Obama saying that he had ordered airstrikes on IS in Iraq. "Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State, effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims," the text reads.

In the video, a person identified as Foley is beheaded, before another man is shown in an orange jumpsuit, with the name "Steven Joel Sotloff" written onscreen. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," a masked man says.

The 40-year-old Foley, an experienced correspondent who had covered the war in Libya, disappeared in November 2012 in the Syrian province of Idlib.

Sotloff, a reporter for several US newspapers and magazines, went missing while working in northern Syria in July 2013.

bw/mkg (AP, Reuters, AFP)