Ex-Hostage: 'John' the Jihadist Beheaded James Foley
Hostages dubbed captors 'the Beatles' because of UK accents
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2014 6:15 PM CDT
In this May 27, 2011, file photo shows American Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., as he poses for a photo in Boston.    (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – A former hostage says he went by the name "John." Now the FBI and British intelligence are trying to identify the UK-born jihadist who led a group of captors in Syria and likely beheaded James Foley. "John" was a smart, educated, fervent believer in radical Islam, an ex-hostage tells the Guardian. He also apparently led talks in two earlier hostage negotiations, one of which led to the release of 11 captives this year after ransom demands were met. Now linguistics experts are trying to pinpoint his origins by listening to the video: "He probably has a foreign language background but it sounds like multicultural London English," says one.

Didier François, a journalist and former ISIS hostage who was held with Foley, says he vaguely recognized Foley's killer, the Independent reports: "Recognized is a very big word," he said. "I see roughly who it is." Francois said he hasn't talked about Foley and another journalist still being held, Steven Sotloff, because his captors warned him not to: "Their exact words were: 'They’ll be punished.'" British citizens have been flocking to Syria and Iraq in droves to fight for jihadists, say UK officials, but one terrorism expert sees something new here: a British expat beheading an American. "This is significant because it signifies a turn towards threatening the west," he said. "They are saying we're going to come after you if you bomb us." (Meanwhile, a documentary made by Foley is coming to Netflix.)

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Showing 3 of 124 comments
Terri
Aug 26, 2014 8:31 PM CDT
The video was horrific. It's unbelievable that anyone could be capable of such a horrible act of brutality. There has been no news, however about whether or not a body was actually found. I keep hoping that it was an elaborate hoax and that Mr. Foley is in a witness protection program somewhere. ISIS is a real threat, though. It's very difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys because extremism can happen in any segment of society. There are sociopaths all over the world.
Gueorgui Gueorguiev
Aug 23, 2014 6:39 PM CDT
Well , now that the Jihadist said what they have to say , it is our turn to do what we have to do . Send the drones on a non stop 24-365 for the foreseeable future to bomb and exterminate anyone holding a weapon . Give 1000s of sniper rifles to the Kurds , and declare them to be open season with rewards being paid for each kill . I my self will go there hunting if there is bounties offered . When they feel the Death hunting them down from every possible direction , they will come to their censes or deaths !
RadVlad
Aug 22, 2014 6:37 PM CDT
The US messed up in Iraq so they are responsible for cleaning up this ISIS mess. The reason they have only delivered token airstrikes is because they do not believe that ISIS is capable of killing on U.S. soil.