The Email ISIS Sent To James Foley's Family Is Horrifying
With America still traumatized from the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant earlier this week, chilling details surrounding the reporter's death keep emerging. Late Thursday, Global Post, the news website that Foley worked for, published an email ISIS sent to Foley's family days before he was brutally murdered. Fair warning: It's upsetting, and, like the execution video the terrorists uploaded on Tuesday, solely intended to evoke fear.
The email was sent to the Foleys on Aug. 12, a week before their son was executed on camera. In an interview with NBC Today's Tamron Hall, the Foleys said they were relieved to have received the letter from ISIS. Said his father:
I actually was excited to see an email despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim. I — we underestimated that point. I did not realize how brutal they were, and I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them if they were willing to send any sort of communication because we'd had none prior.
The letter is perhaps what you'd expect from a group of (clearly psychopathic) terrorists: It's long, interspersed with long lines of capitals and multiple exclamation points. Although it was sent to James Foley's parents, John and Diane Foley, the email is addressed to "the American government and their sheep like citizens."
It blames America for choosing "to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and 'proxy armies', all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!" It is threatening, and, frankly, terrifying.
One thing mentioned in the email is the issue of ransom money: The terrorists claim that the U.S. government was given "many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted" — though Foley's family had only once heard about the possibly of a cash exchange, on Nov. 26, 2013. It was then that the terrorists had demanded their $132 million in exchange for Foley's life. The only subsequent time the Foleys heard from ISIS was this email they received Aug. 12.
In the email, the terrorist group also claim they:
... offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.
After this, they crescendo into accusations and violent warnings, saying:
Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE!
Finally, they end with:
You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings! The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley! He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!
In a press conference from their home in New Hampshire, the Foleys reiterated how devoted their son was to their country. "Jim was a great American, and he believed in the very best of our country," Diane Foley said, her voice catching. In a heartbreaking moment, her husband added: "I think the reason he went back is because he felt committed to the people who were trying to become free."
You can read the full text of the ISIS email (if you can face it) here, on the GlobalPost website.