American journalist James Foley was kidnapped in Syria two years ago. Last night, ISIS released a video of Foley's beheading. This afternoon, the president will make his official statement.
BRETT LOGIURATO --- Business Insider
President Barack Obama will make a statement at 12:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the White House said, in the aftermath of the beheading of an American journalist by the extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL).
The White House's National Security Council said Wednesday that the video released by the group, which has since been removed from YouTube, is authentic. The video showed a member of the group executing American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.
"We have reached the judgment that this video is authentic. We will continue to provide updates as they are available," NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.
In the video, ISIS also threatened to kill another American journalist it said it was holding captive — Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013. He had been freelancing for Time and other publications.
The group said it killed Foley as an act of revenge for U.S. intervention in Iraq. Obama authorized the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes in Iraq nearly two weeks ago, in an attempt to aid Iraqi forces against the extremist militants.
Since then, according to the Pentagon, the U.S. has conducted more than 70 such strikes on targets including security checkpoints, vehicles, and weapons caches. The U.S. has not specified if any militants were killed in the strikes. It has said the vast majority of the strikes have been "successful."