The grusome message, in which the militants declare that they “WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD,” sheds further light on the terror tactics used by the Islamic State.
Foley was taken prisoner while working in Syria in 2012, and his whereabouts had not been known until a graphic video surfaced on YouTube earlier this week showing his execution at the hands of Islamic State, the Islamist group formerly known as ISIS. Islamic State has made multiple significant military victories in Iraq in recent months, and has a powerful online presence spreading the group’s propaganda.
“We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq,” the email reads. “We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so! As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WERE EATEN!”
The message says that Foley’s death is the result of American intervention in Iraq, aimed at halting the advance of Islamic State. “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!”
Since Foley’s death, details of failed attempts to rescue the photojournalist and other hostages held by the Jihadist group have been released. The email also reveals that Islamic State had offered to trade Foley for Dr. Afia Sidiqqi, a radical “poster girl” dubbed “Lady Al Qaeda” currently imprisoned in a Texas jail.
The Islamic state email was first published by GlobalPost, one of Foley’s employers, with the permission of his family. The newspaper says it believes “the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State.”
Additionally, they say, it “contains factual inaccuracies”—including the claim that Foley’s family was given “many chances” to negotiate. In fact, Islamic State’s first and only demand was made more than a year after Foley’s capture, when they demanded a $132 million ransom (€100 million). The U.S. government refused to pay, and has launched fresh airstrikes since the video’s release against Islamic State targets near Mosul, Iraq.
The full email is as follows:
HOW LONG WILL THE SHEEP FOLLOW THE BLIND SHEPPARD?
A message to the American government and their sheep like citizens:
We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so!
As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WHERE EATEN!
You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,
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.
You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force, a language you were given in “Arabic translation” when you attempted to occupy the land of Iraq!
Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and “proxy armies”, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!
Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTILL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD.
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!
H/T London Evening Standard | Illustration by Rob Price