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Video of journalist James Foley being beheaded is authentic, says White House

Twitter has said it will suspend users who post clips of the video online.

James Foley
James Foley
Image: Medill School of Journalism

THE GRUESOME VIDEO showing American photojournalist James Foley being beheaded has been verified as authentic, the White House has confirmed.

The US National Security Council said the video, which was released last night by Islamic State militants, had been carefully analysed.

The almost five-minute-long video entitled ‘A Message to America’ shows the journalist being beheaded by a man dressed in black who speaks with what appears to be a British accent.

“The US Intelligence Community has analysed the recently released video showing US citizens James Foley and Steven Sotloff,” a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said.

We have reached the judgement that this video is authentic.We will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Journalist Steven Sotloff, who also appears in the video, is threatened but is not hurt in the video. The man who threatens him addresses the US president, saying: “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision”.

It is not yet known when or where the video was recorded.

Foley was abducted while he was working in Northern Syria in November 2012.

Criticism of the graphic images

There has been widespread criticism of the use of the video and images of Foley, with the New York Post and New York Daily News printing graphic still images from the beheading on its front page today.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has said the social network will suspend users who post clips of the video.

YouTube has also been removing the video from its site.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that it is investigating the video and whether or not a British citizen was involved.  In a statement, police in London also warned the public in the UK about watching the video.

“We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist matierial within the UK may constitute an offence under Terrorism legislation”, London Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

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Foley’s family have urged his kidnappers to spare the lives of remaining hostages.

James Foley

“We have never been prouder of our son Jim,” his mother Diane wrote in a post on Facebook. “He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people”.

“We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person”.

Source: Joe Medill/YouTube

Read: James Foley’s family asks kidnappers to spare hostages after video of alleged beheading > 

Read: Islamic State releases video claiming to show beheading of US journalist James Foley > 

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Christine Bohan

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