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American Journalist Executed by ISIS   08/20 06:22

   ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Journalist James Foley had worked in a number of 
conflict zones in the Middle East, but the danger didn't stop him from doing 
the job he loved.

   Captured and held for six weeks while covering the uprising in Libya, he 
knew the risks when he went to Syria two years ago to cover the escalating 
violence there.

   Foley was snatched again in Syria in November 2012 when the car he was 
riding in was stopped by four militants in a battle zone that Sunni rebel 
fighters and government forces were trying to control.

   On Tuesday, two U.S. officials said they believe Foley was the person 
executed by Islamic State militants in a video posted online. The officials 
spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss 
the video by name.

   Foley's family confirmed his death on a webpage created to rally support for 
him. His mother, Diane Foley, said in a statement on the webpage he "gave his 
life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people."

   At Foley's family home in Rochester, a light burned yellow in a center 
upstairs window and a yellow ribbon adorned a tree at the foot of the driveway. 
The Rev. Paul Gousse, of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, where theFoleys are 
parishioners, spent about 45 minutes at the house but left without commenting.

   Foley, 40, and another journalist were working in the northern province of 
Idlib in Syria when they were kidnapped near the village of Taftanaz.

   After Foley disappeared, while contributing video for Agence France-Presse 
and the media company GlobalPost, his parents became fierce advocates for him 
and all those kidnapped in war zones. They held regular prayer vigils and 
worked with the U.S. and Syrian diplomatic corps to get whatever scraps of 
information they could.

   Diane Foley, asked in January 2013 if her son had reservations about going 
to Syria, said softly: "Not enough."

   She wrote Tuesday on the family's webpage, "We thank Jim for all the joy he 
gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person."

   Foley had seen the dangers to journalists up close.

   Upon his release from Libya and return to the United States, he recalled in 
an interview with The Associated Press seeing a colleague, South African 
photographer Anton Hammerl, killed by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar 
Gadhafi. He tried to pull his friend's body out of harm's way but was turned 
back by heavy fire.

   "I'll regret that day for the rest of my life. I'll regret what happened to 
Anton," Foley said. "I will constantly analyze that."

   Foley also covered the war in Afghanistan but called the Libyan fighting the 
worst he had ever experienced to that point.

   Foley grew up in New Hampshire and studied history at Marquette University. 
He later taught in Arizona, Massachusetts and Chicago before switching careers 
to become a journalist, which he viewed as a calling.

   "Journalism is journalism," Foley said. "If I had a choice to do Nashua (New 
Hampshire) zoning meetings or give up journalism, I'll do it. I love writing 
and reporting."


(KA)


 
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