Published On: Aug 21 2014 12:16:59 PM EDTUpdated On: Aug 21 2014 03:53:29 PM EDT
James Foley was an American photojournalist who went missing in Syria almost two years ago. On Tuesday, August 19th, a video, apparently produced by ISIS as a warning to the US to stop air strikes against the group in Iraq, ended with Foley's beheading. Learn more about the life of the man whose his parents call a 'martyr for freedom.'
Foley attended Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated in 1996. He went on to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated from there with a MFA in 2003. He then went on to graduate from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2008.
Foley was a freelance photojournalist. In April 2011, Foley was working for GlobalPost when he and three other journalists were detained in Libya by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. Foley was released from jail 44 days later, but returned to Libya and was at the scene of Gaddafi’s capture in October 2011.
Foley first went missing in November 2012. He was last seen alive in Aleppo, Syria, where he was covering the Syrian civil war. It wasn't clear where he had gone or who had taken him. At that point in the conflict, ISIS had not yet formed.
It was recently revealed that Foley's captors originally demanded a ransom of 100 million euros ($132.5 million) for his release from GlobalPost. The captors also demanded that money from Foley's family. Neither paid any portion of the ransom.
U.S. officials revealed that they had tried to rescue Foley and other captives earlier this summer in a special military operation in Syria. But the special forces from units such as Delta Force and Navy SEAL Team 6 failed to find the hostages. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Foley's mother, Diane Foley, said in a news conference, "We're very proud of Jim. He was a courageous, fearless journalist. A very compassionate American." John Foley added, "We know Jimmy's free. He's finally free."