ISIS Releases YouTube Video of the Beheading of an American Journalist

August 19, 2014 - 5:05 PM

In retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in support of Iraqi forces, ISIS circulated a gruesome YouTube video featuring the beheading of an American freelance journalist.

Stars and Stripes, an authorized Department of Defense news outlet, has reported, and The UK Daily Mail is also confirming, ISIS reports that the journalist is 40-year-old American James Wright Foley. Foley, who had been a writer for the GlobePost, had previously worked for Stars and Stripes.

Foley was captured in Syria in 2012 and has been missing since ever since.

The extremely graphic footage of Foley's beheading has since been removed by Youtube, but stills from the video are still circulating on Twitter.

ISIS says they did this to send a message to the U.S.: "When your colleagues dropped that bomb, they signed my death certificate," Foley says in the video - but their belief that publicizing gruesome beheadings will change American foreign policy shows how little they understand America.