President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that “the entire world is appalled” by the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist, by the Islamist militant group ISIS.
He said that he had spoken to Foley’s parents and told them that “we are all heartbroken at their loss.”
ISIS released a gruesome video documenting the beheading, and it threatened the life of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, if the United States does not stop the airstrikes it has carried out against ISIS since Aug. 8.
The United States struck ISIS targets from the air 11 times overnight after the video was released.
Using a different acronym for the militant group, Obama said: “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.”
He vowed: “We will do everything we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.”
Obama spoke from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he is on vacation.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that he had met the Foley family while Foley was held in Libya for 44 days in 2011. He said the family had been as determined in winning his release as Foley himself was covering war zones.
“There is evil in this world, and we all have come face to face with it once again,” Kerry said. “Ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic and valueless evil. ISIL is the face of that evil, a threat to people who want to live in peace, and an ugly insult to the peaceful religion they violate every day with their barbarity.”
— Kristen Welker and Erin McClam
First published August 20 2014, 9:30 AM