The Islamic State claims American journalist James Foley had much more to say than was heard in the video it released of his execution. The militant group said Foley blamed his family and the U.S. government's “zero tolerance” negotiation policy, and that he said his captors had “made many efforts to ensure a successful arrangement.” In its text of Foley's alleged last words, the group revealed clues about other Western prisoners still in its custody.
The Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Levant (ISIL), published the “Complete Message of James Foley” in the third edition of its magazine Dabiq on Friday. Foley did speak in the graphic video -- it's likely that he was told what to say -- but much of the text available in Dabiq was either edited out or possibly written later by ISIS.
According to the magazine text, Foley said, "Many chances were given to my government and family to negotiate for my release, all resulting in failure on the part of my government and family."
Foley’s family said ISIS demanded a ransom of $132 million and then a prisoner swap when the journalist was first kidnapped in Syria. The U.S. claimed it stood firm on its no-negotiation policy; ISIS wrote in their magazine that “The American government was dragging its feet, reluctant to take the necessary steps to save James’s life,” unlike some European governments. ISIS claimed it released “a dozen of their prisoners” when certain EU governments met their demands. French journalist Didier Francois was kidnapped with Foley and held for eight months. He was released in April allegedly after the French government paid an $18 million ransom, a claim the French denied.
But ISIS may have allowed a telling detail to slip by. In the magazine, the group wrote that failing to negotiate “left a number of British and American prisoners remaining in the cells of the Islamic State.” Until this statement, there was no confirmation that ISIS was holding U.K. citizens. The British government has not confirmed nor denied the statement.
“In a way ISIS has made social media, if you will, the CNN of the Internet,” Dr. Shane Shook, a cybersecurity expert and chief strategy officer at ZeroFOX, a social media risk management company, told International Business Times when discussing the second issue of Dabiq.
According to the Islamic State magazine, Foley, addressing the American people, said, “Our government, for the last 13 years has stretched our military around the Muslim world to interfere in their affairs. They have killed in the name of 'preserving life,' tortured and raped in the name of 'humanity,' destroyed in the name of 'rebuilding,' and ruined the lives of millions of people. They have incurred a great debt of blood and wealth and it will be you and me, the average citizens, who will inevitably pay the price of their crimes.”
ISIS also wrote that they knew Foley was a journalist, but still accused him of being a spy. He had “espionage equipment” with him at the time of his kidnapping -- most probably his camera.
Read the full text here.