President Obama: Rescue attempt of NH-based journalist James Foley failed
“The U.S. government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the President authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” Lisa Monaco, a top counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”
slain journalist James Foley's mother, Diane, his father, John, and brother Michael, outside their Rochester home Wednesday. JOHN QUINN
A chilling message
Reuters reported that on the night of Aug. 13, Foley’s family received a chilling message: He would be executed in retaliation for U.S. air strikes on the militant group Islamic State.
Foley’s family and friends hoped the militants were bluffing and wanted a ransom, he said.
The President said a group like ISIS has “no place in the 21st century.”
“They (ISIS) have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence,” said Obama. “They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery.”
“The brutality of this act is itself evidence of an unspeakable evil that is rampant and inhuman,” LiBasci said. “To the prayers that have been offered since his captivity almost two years ago, we now add our prayers for James’ eternal rest and, in Christ Jesus Our Lord, James’ future resurrection to eternal life. Our prayers also must accompany a sorrowful mother, a grieving father, a deeply pained family and countless friends who have kept vigil all this time. May we also pray for those who have embraced the way of darkness and death, that they may turn away from this terrible evil now and forever.”
On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, called for an increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, telling the Reuters news service the attacks should be extended into Syria.
“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” he says.
Among the hostages sought in last month’s rescue mission was Steven Sotloff, the American journalist who was threatened with beheading in the same video that showed the grisly execution of Foley. Sotloff has been missing since Aug. 4, 2013.
Sotloff has reported from Egypt, Turkey, Libya, Bahrain and Syria, among other countries, according to his Twitter feed and past news articles.
“We will be vigilant. We will be relentless,” Obama said.
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