Journalist James Foley, reportedly kidnapped in Syria in 2012, has been beheaded, a graphic video released by supposed Islamic State militants purports to show. The video shows Foley kneeling beside a man dressed in all black. It begins with a speech by President Obama announcing the U.S. military would begin targeted airstrikes against the Islamic State, the group that has declared a caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq also known as ISIS, to stop its advance on Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The video switches to a black screen with white writing that reads: "A Message to America." Foley then begins to recite a message, presumably written for him by his captors, about his "real killer" -- America. At the end of the video, the executioner begins sawing at Foley's neck with a knife. After a blackout, the last image appears to show Foley's head, detached, lying on top of his body.

YouTube removed the video shortly after it was posted.

  • James Foley beheading
    "Jihadi John," shown here in the James Foley beheading video, may have been injured in a U.S. airstrike. Photo: Reuters
  • Foley beheaded
    Photo: Youtube

Foley's death could not be confirmed independently. 

Foley was a freelance journalist, originally from New Hampshire, who wrote for media outlets including Global Post.

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