‘A Welcome Surprise’: Mother Of Journalist Murdered By ISIS Reacts To Leader’s Death

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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The mother of James Foley, an American journalist who was executed by the Islamic State in 2014, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Monday that the death of terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “a welcome surprise.”

James Foley, a freelancer, was beheaded as part of an ISIS propaganda video, reportedly by a British ISIS cell dubbed “the Beatles.” Diane Foley, James’s mother, spoke on CNN’s “New Day” following confirmation from President Donald Trump that U.S. troops had successfully killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi Saturday evening during a raid in northern Syria.

“I was at home and it came as such a welcome surprise,” Diane Foley said. “I was so grateful we had troops still in Syria who were able to use the intelligence and make this happen. I’m very, very grateful.” (RELATED: Trump Considers Releasing Parts Of Al-Baghdadi Raid Video)


“I’m hopeful that his [al-Baghdadi] demise will be a huge blow to the regrouping of ISIS. However, we need to continue to be very vigilant because they certainly want to regroup and bring back their reign of terror,” Diane Foley continued.

She added that a goal should be to use America’s “expertise and intelligence” to bring captured American’s home.

“My hope would be that we can use that same American expertise and intelligence to find innocent Americans who have been taken hostage and bring them home,” Diane Foley said. “It’s difficult. Many of these nations and terrorist groups want to use our citizens as political pawns and leverage … but I’m so hopeful that we can now find them and bring them home.”

Diane Foley confirmed that al-Baghdadi’s death provided closure and a sense of justice for her family. She agreed with Trump that the death protects the world and called for captured ISIS fighters to be brought to trial, bringing up “the Beatles” cell that has been accused of being responsible for the death of her son.

“I agree with the president that it protects our world,” Diane Foley continued. “This man was out to kill many, many more Westerners for sure. However, I think it’s very important that the ISIS fighters in custody be brought to trial, particularly … the British jihadists, ‘the Beatles’ as they were called, who tortured and killed the four Americans and many, many others.”

“I hope they can be brought to the United States for a fair and transparent trial, and I feel the same way about the thousands in prison camps in northern Syria … “

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