Foley's Parents Release Last Email From Captors
Pope Francis calls to console family
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2014 5:46 AM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2014 7:54 AM CDT
John and Diane Foley talk to reporters outside their home in Rochester, NH.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – James Foley's Catholic parents received a call from Pope Francis himself yesterday to console them on the gruesome death of their son. The pontiff was "very compassionate, very loving," and spoke to the New Hampshire couple through a translator for around 20 minutes, a family friend tells the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, Foley's former employer, GlobalPost, has released the full text of the last email sent to Foley's parents by his captors, with the family's permission. "You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!" the Aug. 12 message declares, addressing both his parents and the US government. "Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial (sic) attacks and 'proxy armies,' all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!" It alleges that the US passed up chances to pay a ransom or swap prisoners, and ends by saying that Foley will be executed "as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!" Read it in full here.

In other developments:

  • Other foreigners held alongside Foley says ISIS militants, including British-accented executioner "John the Jihadi," treated the captured journalist more harshly than other captives, the Washington Post reports. "He was some kind of scapegoat," a captured French journalist who's since been released tells the BBC. "And the kidnappers knew that his brother was in the US Air Force. He became the whipping-boy of the jailers." He says militants performed mock executions on Foley, and he witnessed them force him to "pose as if he was being crucified against a wall."
  • The militants have threatened to execute captive US journalist Steven Sotloff next, but he is just one of up to 20 Westerners believed to be ISIS captives, reports the Telegraph. They are believed to include Vanessa Marzullo, 21, and Greta Ramelli, 20, two Italian aid workers who vanished in Syria earlier this month, as well as three Red Cross workers seized last fall.
  • Senior Pentagon officials describe ISIS as a group with an "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated"—but they warn that fighting the group effectively will have to involve strikes on Syria. Senior British officials say the country's military is likely to end up joining any American military action against the group, the Guardian reports.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Pope Consoles James Foley's Parents is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 44 comments
Aug 22, 2014 7:19 PM CDT
We need more than air strikes. We need the two witnesses in Revelation, what so many call a book of fables to show up and begin their ministry. No one can hurt them for 3 and half years for they have power to breath fire. May their ministry begin in Iraq.
Aug 22, 2014 12:40 PM CDT
I read that Foley was taken hostage before by islamists in Afgh. or something, and I must say that I don't understand why he would put himself into that path of danger again. Why? To prove that he was special , I guess. This was just stupid. You can't make friends with mad dogs. The kind of mental masturbation it takes to place yourself in danger to prove your empathic superiority, must be some kind of reverse form of Munchausen syndrome It's like the guy who went to live with the Grizzly Bears a few years ago. He thought he was special, HE was more intuitively in touch with the Bears, and their lives. HE would become a member of their intimate family. --- He ended up as their poop.
Aug 22, 2014 12:14 PM CDT
What on earth? From my perspective, those Italian aid workers are little girls. I can't believe youngsters like that went to Syria to help.