Final Email From James Foley’s Captors Called Americans ‘Sheep’
Slain freelance reporter James Foley’s father, John, told Today during an exclusive interview Friday morning that he had “hoped [the U.S.] could negotiate” with the terrorists holding his son captive in Syria.
But a final email from the Islamic State, the group of militants who beheaded the journalist on video as a warning to America to put an end to dropping bombs in northern Iraq, which was sent to GlobalPost and Foley’s family, revealed that the time for negotiations had come to an end.
GlobalPost, the Boston-based international news organization that Foley was working for in Syria when he was captured by the terrorist organization in 2012, released the text of that email late Thursday night, with the blessing of their former employee’s mother, Diane, and father, John.
“GlobalPost has chosen to publish it in full in the interest of transparency and to fully tell Jim’s story. We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State,” they wrote in a blog post on their site.
In the email correspondence, which GlobalPost said contained inaccuracies, such as claims that the Islamic State tried repeatedly to negotiate with the U.S. and Foley’s family—at one point the group reportedly asked for upwards of $130 million in exchange for Foley’s life—the militants call Americans “sheep,” and violently threaten to bring bloodshed to more citizens.
Foley’s father said they were “excited” to get the email on August 12, despite the threatening tone, because it was the first correspondence they had with the Islamic State since 2013. However, he said the family “underestimated” the group’s vicious tactics, and didn’t truly realize “how brutal they were.”
Below is an excerpt from the email, titled “A message to the American government and their sheep-like citizens,” which can be read in full on the GlobalPost website:
…We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so! As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WHERE EATEN!
…Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTILL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD. You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will NOT spare yours! 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!