A top British official said that it is “apparent” that the ISIS terrorist who brutally executed American journalist James Foley is actually from the United Kingdom.
The video released Tuesday by the Islamic State, entitled “A Message To America,” pictures the beheading of the American citizen who was taken hostage in Syria in 2012. What’s most alarming about the video is that the Islamic State terrorist executioner appears to speak perfect English and does so with a British accent.
“We’re very concerned by the apparent fact that the murderer in question is British and we are urgently investigating — agencies on both sides of the Atlantic — first of all looking to authenticate the video, to make sure that it is genuine, sadly it appears to be, and then to see if we can identify the individual in question,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told ITV News British.
This is not entirely surprising. For months, Western officials have been tracking foreigners who travel to the Middle East in order to be trained in extremist organizations.
“It looks increasingly like that it is a British citizen. Now this is deeply shocking. But we know that far too many British citizens have traveled to Iraq and traveled to Syria to take part in extremism and violence.” United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said.
In the video, the IS terrorist has Foley read off of what appears to be a script, in which he says regrets never being able to see his family again and refers to the American government as his “real killers.”
Just today, the White House confirmed that the video is indeed authentic and not a hoax, as some had suspected.
“The U.S. intelligence community has analyzed the recently released video showing U.S. citizens James Foley and Steven Sotloff. We have reached the judgment that this video is authentic,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Barack Obama addressed the nation in response to the killing of Foley.
“We will be vigilant and we will be relentless,” Obama said of the Islamic Sate. “When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done. And we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.”
Authorities have yet to identify Foley’s killer, but they are continuing to investigate the perpetrators of his death.