A video posted online on Aug. 19, 2014 depicted the beheading of freelance American photojournalist James Foley, who disappeared in Syria in November 2012 while reporting for the news website GlobalPost on the ongoing conflict in the country.
In the video, shot somewhere in the desert, Foley, speaking under duress, said his execution came in response to American airstrikes in Iraq on the Islamic State, a militant group seeking to carve out a caliphate in that country and Syria. Foley’s murderer – standing behind him in the video clad in black, carrying a knife and speaking in British-accented English – purported to act on behalf of the Islamic State. The man also threatened another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, who disappeared in Syria in August 2013. A video posted online two weeks later appeared to depict the beheading of Sotloff.