Beheaded journalist spoke at SDSU months before kidnapping


James Foley (Credit: SDSU)

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SAN DIEGO -One day after a terrorist group posted video online of the brutal killing of kidnapped American journalist James Foley, San Diego State professor explained how he inspired his students.

Foley vanished in November 2012 in northwest Syria while covering the country’s civil war. On Tuesday, ISIS posted a video of his death. He was beheaded.

Ten months before Foley was captured, SDSU Economics professor Hisham Foad invited him to campus to share his experiences.

In his speech, Foley called reporting in the Middle East “life-changing” and spoke about the possibility of returning to Syria.

“What I do is pretty foolish,” Foley said. “What I put people through, what I put my family through… and they tell me now, ‘Please, don’t go to Syria. Please don’t go to Syria, please.’”

Foad said he believes ISIS released the beheading video as a recruitment tool to win people in Iraq and Syria to their side. He is hoping Foley’s mission to seek the truth was not in vain.

“Maybe a greater understanding of a greater problem that is facing the world,” said Foad. “I think he was trying to maybe to inspire people to learn more.”

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama delivered a tough message for the terrorist group, ISIS.

“Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world,” said Mr. Obama. “ISIS has no ideology or any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt.”

Foley’s father John also addressed the media Tuesday.

“He was courageous to the end,” John said. “We know Jimmy’s free. He’s finally free. And we know he’s in God’s hands. We know he was doing God’s work.”

ISIS, which refers to itself as the Islamic State, has been conducting executions and other horrific acts of violence against citizens in Iraq and Syria, thriving in a security vacuum in the region.

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