James Foley was an American journalist when he disappeared in Syria in November of 2012. It was presumed he was kidnapped. Recently, a graphic video showing the alleged beheading of Foley by Islamist extremists is circulating in the media via YouTube. While there is a warning, anyone can view this video, including his family. His grieving parents spoke about the beheading at a New Hampshire press conference on Wednesday (Aug. 20) stating they believe he was a martyr. In the manner of the horrific execution, his parents said he was courageous and a “martyr for freedom.”
In the graphic video depicting his final moments, Foley was kneeling wearing an orange shirt and pants. His video message appeared to be scripted, but he did say he wished he had more time with his family. Some people believe his message could have been a result of the ‘Stockholm Syndrome,’ which describes the psychological effect of hostages sympathizing with the captors. It is not known for certain if Foley’s parents chose to view the video execution of their son, but from their admission at the press conference, it is assumed they did.
Many people are expressing their disgust of the graphic video through the social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Some individuals are refusing to view it, but then there are others who did view it and wished they didn’t afterwards. The shock of seeing Foley being beheaded was too much for them, although they were initially warned of the video’s graphic nature. YouTube swiftly deleted the video albeit it is still being circulated on other sites. Numerous news sources linked the video with a graphic warning as a courtesy.
According to the Telegraph (UK), Scotland Yard is warning the public that downloading, disseminating and sharing the gruesome video of Foley’s execution online within the UK is a crime. This includes viewing the video, although the officers will be focused on individuals who share and/or glorify it.