War on Terror

Watching ISIS James Foley Beheading Video Could Lead to Charges in U.K.; Graphic Images From Video Blocked on Twitter


James Foley about to be beheaded
ISIS, via Live Leak

A video released by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) purporting to show the beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley, who was kidnapped while reporting in Syria in 2012, was confirmed by intelligence services, which are trying to identify the masked killed in the video. In the United Kingdom MI5 is worried about the strong London accent the killer had; counterterrorism experts claim British extremists in Iraq and Syria are among the most "vicious." Counterterrorism laws in the United Kingdom could make watching the ISIS video a crime, as NBC News reports:

In a statement, the [London Metropolitan] police force said it was "investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley." It added: "We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the U.K. may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation."

Twitter, meanwhile, is blocking images from the video and suspending accounts that post it; the company says it does so when family members make such requests, and that it always "weighs public interest against privacy concerns."

In the video, Foley reads a statement blaming the U.S. airstrikes for killing him. The masked ISIS fighter shown in the video warns another American journalist in their custody, Steven Sotloff, would be next, and insists ISIS is not an insurgent group but a caliphate with dominion over Muslims worldwide.