James Foley ‘more alive than ever’ eight years on from the day of brutal death

·2 min read

James Foley is “more alive today than ever before”, eight years on from the day that his brutal death in Syria was announced, his mother has said.

The murdered US journalist will live on in “all who aspire to moral courage” as well as the memories of his family and friends.

He was captured in 2012 and held by members of a British Islamic terror cell, dubbed the Beatles, until his death in 2014.

His whereabouts were widely unknown until August 19 2014, when so-called Islamic State uploaded a video to YouTube entitled A Message to America, which showed shocking footage of his killing.

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The murdered US journalist will live on in ‘all who aspire to moral courage’ as well as the memories of his family and friends, his mother Diane Foley said (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Speaking at the sentencing of one of the cell’s members – El Shafee Elsheikh – on Friday, Mr Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said she pitied the jihadist for “choosing hatred”.

She said that her son’s “deepest pain” would be knowing of the suffering that she and her family had undergone.

“However, Jim would also want you to know that your hate-filled crimes did not win. James Wright Foley lives on,” she said, addressing Elsheikh directly.

“Jim would say, ‘Alexanda (Kotey) and El Shafee, you did not kill me.

“I am alive in my mother, father, my sister, and my brothers. I am alive in my family and friends, and their friends too.

“I am alive in the mercy and justice of this trial. I live on in those who survived your brutality and bravely testified on this witness stand.

“I live on in the stories I have told, those heard in this courtroom, and in the stories yet to be told.

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Ms Foley was joined outside the court by members of other victims’ families (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“I am alive in all who aspire to moral courage in whatever they choose to do.

“I am alive in everyone who promotes journalist safety and the return of wrongful detainees and hostages around the world.

“I am alive in the families who yearn for the return of their loved ones and accountability for captors.

“In many ways, I am more alive than ever before’.”

As well as Mr Foley, three other American hostages were killed after being taken hostage by The Beatles – fellow journalist Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.

Elsheikh, 34, was sentenced to eight concurrent life sentences for his involvement in the hostage murder plot, the same as was given to his co-defendant Alexanda Kotey in April.