The parents of slain journalist James Foley talked about their hopes to negotiate with the Islamic State (Isis) militants days before their son was killed in Syria.
In an interview with NBC’s TODAY show, John and Diane Foley spoke about how their hopes were rekindled when they received email from Isis, who claimed responsibility for Foley’s execution that was posted online, on August 12.
It was the first email since their last communication in December 2013, where the rebels demanded a ransom of $132 million for Foley’s release. The first email they received from the rebels was on November 2013, a year after he was abducted.
“I actually was excited to see an email despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim,” his father said in the interview, three days after Foley’s murder was uploaded online.
“We underestimated that point. I did not realize how brutal they were, and I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them if they were willing to send any sort of communication because we had none prior.”
Philip Gaboni of the GlobalPost, the news organization that Foley was working for, said that Isis’ demands of 100 million euros or $132 millions is like “some form of opening gambit that was so wildly excessive that no one could ever raise that kind of money,” The Washington Post reported.
After their brief email exchanges with the militants in November to December 2013, Foley’s parents next heard of their son from a Spanish captive who was freed in March 2014.
They say Foley was still in high spirits, even though he was beaten more than the other hostages because he was an American.
But despite Foley’s horrific death, John and Diane promised that their son’s legacy will live on.
“Jim’s courage and particularly his compassion and love in that box, which they called it, was an answer to prayer,” his mother said. “We had so many people praying for Jimmy. We had begged for prayer, but we didn’t need to.”