James Foley beheading: 'We wanted to negotiate with Isis after email threat', parents say

Terrorists sent an email threatening to execute the journalist before murder

James Foley’s parents had hoped to negotiate with his captors after being sent an email threatening to kill him a week before gory footage of his death emerged.

John and Diane Foley, from Rochester in New Hampshire, received the chilling message on 12 August and sent it straight to the US Government.

The email from the Islamic State (Isis) claimed they had been given “many chances to negotiate” but the couple said it was only the second time they had been contacted.

Speaking on the Today programme in the US, Mr Foley said he was “excited” to see an email from their son's captors after hearing from the terrorists just once since his son disappeared.

“We hadn't heard from Jim's captors since December and I actually was excited to see an email despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim [Mr Foley],” he said.

"We, I, underestimated that point. I did not realise how brutal they were and I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them, if they were willing to send us any sort of communication because we'd had none prior.”

Read more: James Foley's family release last email from militants before he was killed
Pope Francis calls family of murdered American journalist
JAMES FOLEY DEATH: I KNOW THE IDENTITY OF ISIS KILLER, SAYS FRENCH JOURNALIST

He and his wife had set up a special email address for communicating with Isis, he said, and sent multiple messages “hoping to engage them” but the replies stopped in December.

The video shows a man, thought to be James Foley, kneeling in front of a black-clad militant The video shows a man, thought to be James Foley, kneeling in front of a black-clad militant The extremists said his death was revenge for the 90 US air strikes against Isis militants in northern Iraq since 8 August and threatened further recriminations against American citizens if the operation continues.

US special forces failed to rescue Mr Foley and his fellow hostages in an operation in July, it has emerged, just weeks before his death.

Soldiers raided an oil refinery in northern Syria based on intelligence but the hosages had recently been moved.

Mr Foley’s death has sparked fresh controversy over the US and Britain’s refusal to negotiate with terrorists, while some European countries allegedly pay ransoms in attempts to free trapped citizens.

Many avoid financing terrorists and encouraging more kidnappings at any cost, while for other nations a person’s life is worth the risk.

Mr Foley's captors had demanded €100 million (£80 million) from his parents and political concessions from Washington

Intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic are working to identify the jihadist who carried out the brutal killing, with expert analysts sifting through the gruesome footage for clues amid suggestions that the extremist is from London.

The killer in the execution video is reported to be “John”, the ringleader of a trio of UK-born extremists responsible for guarding Western hostages and nicknamed after members of The Beatles.

Mr Foley’s parents received a phone call from Pope Francis on Thursday, who expressed his condolences to the Catholic family.

The journalist's mother described the Pope as “just so kind”, adding: “He offered us his personal prayer and we felt very comforted and supported in that regard.“

The couple are setting up a fund in Mr Foley’s memory ”so that his compassion can live on”.

A scholarship fund has been established at Marquette University in Wisconsin, where he graduated in 1996.

Additional reporting by PA

Read more: ELITE US MILITARY TOOK PART IN FAILED BID TO RESCUE PHOTOJOURNALIST
'GOVERNMENTS’ LACK OF CONSISTENCY ON PAYING RANSOMS PUTS LIVES AT RISK'
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future