A video posted to YouTube by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria purportedly shows the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist, multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday. Foley has been missing since November 2012, when he was believed to have been abducted in Syria.
The murder was apparently a warning to the U.S. to cease its operations against ISIS, which have succeeded in delivering a string of setbacks to the group after it made huge territorial gains in Iraq in the last few months.
The video also purportedly shows another journalist, identified as Steven Sotloff. ISIS reportedly says Sotloff will be killed unless President Obama meets its demands.
The White House National Security Council released the following statement:
We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by [ISIS]. The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available. [CNN]