The family of murdered journalist James Foley released an email they received from the Islamic State (IS) a week before his beheading, in which they stated their intention to kill him.
IS first captured Foley in November 2012, and demanded $132 million from his employer and his family in exchange from his release–a fact alluded to in IS’s latest letter. “You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,” they wrote. “We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.”
Sidiqqi, a Pakistani neuroscientist and al-Qaida operative, was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 for the attempted murder of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Taliban and al-Qaida representatives have repeatedly agitated for her release–in 2010 the Taliban captured a Scottish aid worker, Linda Norgrove, and offered to return her if Siddiqui was released. She later died during a SEAL Team Six rescue operation.
“Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTILL [sic] WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD,” the letter continued. “You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will NOT spare yours! You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings! The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley! He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!”
The U.S. attempted a rescue mission just weeks before Foley’s beheading, the administration revealed this week, but was unable to locate Foley and the other American hostages being held with him. “The U.S. government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco said. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.” (RELATED: Secret July Mission To Rescue Foley And Other Hostages Revealed)
Earlier this summer the administration traded five Taliban leaders for the release of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl–a move the Government Accountability Office recently found illegal because of the administration’s failure to notify Congress. (RELATED: Obama Administration Broke Law With Bergdahl Swap)
“This Justice Department, this Department of Defense, this nation – we have long memories and our reach is very wide,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday. “We will not forget what happened, and people will be held accountable, one way or the other.”