James Wright Foley is shown shortly before his execution at the hands of ISIS extremists. (Source: ISIS/CNN)
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MA (RNN) - President Barack Obama praised the work of executed American journalist James Wright Foley and denounced the group that beheaded him during brief comments Wednesday.
In a video that ISIS posted online a day earlier, Foley gave a prepared statement that blamed the president's authorization of air strikes in Iraq for his own death. He was executed shortly afterward.The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - referred to as ISIS or ISIL - threatened to kill another captive journalist, Time magazine contributor Steven Sotloff, who went missing in 2013 after being kidnapped near the Syria-Turkey border.
After speculation about the authenticity of the video, U.S. intelligence confirmed it was real Wednesday.
Foley, 40, had been missing since November 2012 when he was abducted in a Sunni rebel battle zone. His family had not heard from him since. Foley was freelancing for the U.S.-based online newspaper GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse and had been covering news in the Middle East and North Africa for five years.
"They may claim out of expediency that they at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision," Obama said. "People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity of those who are appalled by those who killed him."
Saying the group had no place in the 21st century, Obama called ISIS out for targeting Muslims, Christians and religious minorities. It has waged a bloody campaign in Iraq in recent months, laying siege to several cities and targeting residents.
Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and later murdered in January 2002. Al-Qaeda posted a video of his death online.
Other beheadings of journalists include Jack Hensley, Eugene Armstrong and Nicholas Berg. All were murdered by al-Qaeda during the Iraq War, according to CNN.
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