Thursday 9:44am
October 30, 2014
Currently 47°F
Posted: Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 5:43am

American journalist killed in Syria aware of risks

By The Associated Press
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
click to enlarge
In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Journalist James Foley had worked in a number of conflict zones in the Middle East, but the danger didn't stop him from doing the job he loved.

Captured and held for six weeks while covering the uprising in Libya, he knew the risks when he went to Syria two years ago to cover the escalating violence there.

Foley was snatched again in Syria in November 2012 when the car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a battle zone that Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control.

On Tuesday, two U.S. officials said they believe Foley was the person executed by Islamic State militants in a video posted online. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the video by name.

Foley's family confirmed his death on a webpage created to rally support for him. His mother, Diane Foley, said in a statement on the webpage he "gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people."

At Foley's family home in Rochester, a light burned yellow in a center upstairs window and a yellow ribbon adorned a tree at the foot of the driveway. The Rev. Paul Gousse, of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, where the Foleys are parishioners, spent about 45 minutes at the house but left without commenting.

Foley, 40, and another journalist were working in the northern province of Idlib in Syria when they were kidnapped near the village of Taftanaz.

After Foley disappeared, while contributing video for Agence France-Presse and the media company GlobalPost, his parents became fierce advocates for him and all those kidnapped in war zones. They held regular prayer vigils and worked with the U.S. and Syrian diplomatic corps to get whatever scraps of information they could.

Diane Foley, asked in January 2013 if her son had reservations about going to Syria, said softly: "Not enough."

She wrote Tuesday on the family's webpage, "We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person."

Foley had seen the dangers to journalists up close.

Upon his release from Libya and return to the United States, he recalled in an interview with The Associated Press seeing a colleague, South African photographer Anton Hammerl, killed by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He tried to pull his friend's body out of harm's way but was turned back by heavy fire.

"I'll regret that day for the rest of my life. I'll regret what happened to Anton," Foley said. "I will constantly analyze that."

Foley also covered the war in Afghanistan but called the Libyan fighting the worst he had ever experienced to that point.

Foley grew up in New Hampshire and studied history at Marquette University. He later taught in Arizona, Massachusetts and Chicago before switching careers to become a journalist, which he viewed as a calling.

"Journalism is journalism," Foley said. "If I had a choice to do Nashua (New Hampshire) zoning meetings or give up journalism, I'll do it. I love writing and reporting."
Associated Categories: Homepage, National News

© Copyright 2014 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.


  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
0.099265
icon
47°F
Gainesville, GA 30501
Clear
Wind: NNW 4 mph
Dew point: 43°F