Mother of Murdered Journalist Says James Foley ‘Let Down’ by US Government

Mother of Murdered Journalist Says James Foley ‘Let Down’ by US Government


james foley family

The mother of murdered journalist James Foley said he was let down by the US government and that she was “embarrassed and appalled” at the way the family were treated.

Diane Foley told CNN that they were treated as an “annoyance” and at once stage even threatened with arrest if they attempted to raise a ransom to try to secure his release, The Telegraph reported Friday.

The 40-year-old journalist was beheaded, apparently by an ISIL fanatic with a British accent, and a video of his murder was released by the group last month.

In the months leading up to his death, the Foley family were contacted by ISIL with large ransom demands, which they were unable to meet.

Mrs Foley told CNN that members of her family were warned that paying a ransom “was illegal, we might be prosecuted.”

“I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance,” she said. “It didn’t seem to be in (the US) strategic interest, if you will. We were just told to trust that he would be freed somehow, miraculously. And he wasn’t, was he?

“I really feel that our country let Jim down. Jim would have been saddened. Jim believed, till the end, that his country would come to (his) aid.

“Jim was killed in the most horrific way. He was sacrificed because of just a lack of co-ordination, lack of communication, lack of prioritization. As a family, we had to find our way through this on our own”.

On the video, Foley’s killer said that his death was revenge for US air strikes on ISIL positions in Iraq.

Mrs Foley said she was unimpressed by this week’s speech by President Obama, in which he set out America’s strategy for tackling ISIL, adding, “This whole strategy to eliminate ISIS (an alternative name for ISIL) and the terror threat is important, obviously, so perhaps part of the strategic way of doing that is to bomb them, and to engage in force. But that only caused Jim’s death. ”

Susan Rice, the US National Security Adviser, praised the Foley family for their bravery and attempts to “try to bring Jim home safely.”

But, she said, she “and others in the US government worked very hard with Diane Foley and her family to try to be supportive, to try to provide what information we could.”

Mrs Rice pointed to the failed attempt by the US military to rescue Foley and his fellow captives.

“Unfortunately, they were no longer there,” she said. “But I think that effort … underscores the importance that we attach to doing everything that we possibly can to bring Americans in captivity back home”.

Mrs Foley insisted, however, that the rescue mission had come too late. “Their location was known for more than a year,” she said.

“I pray that our government will be willing to learn from the mistakes that were made and to acknowledge that there are better ways for American citizens to be treated”.

“I guess all I’m trying to say is that our government needs to be shrewder, smarter, willing to negotiate with these people who hate us, so that we can find better ways to rid ourselves of terror.”