UK & World News
Final Email Gave Hope To James Foley's Parents
The parents of James Foley said they regarded an email sent by his captors earlier this month as a hopeful sign despite a threat they would kill him.
John and Diane Foley have released the text of the email they received on August 12 - a week before the video that showed their son being beheaded by an Islamic State militant.
"We hadn't heard from Jim's captors since December," John Foley said of the email, appearing with his wife on NBC's Today.
"I actually was excited to see an email despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim.
"I underestimated that point. I did not realise how brutal they were."
The Foleys said they had set up a special email address and sent multiple messages to try to engage the captors.
"We were just anxiously waiting," Diane Foley said.
In the last email, the Islamic State said: "You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will not spare yours!
"You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings! The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley!
"He will be executed as a direct result of your transgressions towards us!"
In the message, IS claimed it had given the US "many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted".
However, Mr Foley's family said this was not true.
They said they had to wait about a year from when Mr Foley went missing in November 2012 for the first email from his kidnappers.
In that message they demanded money.
After the militants proved to the family and investigators they were holding the 40-year-old, they made a ransom demand of £80m ($132.5m).
The next time the family heard from the captors was on August 12.
GlobalPost, one of the news organisations Mr Foley worked for, said it chose to publish the message in full "in the interest of transparency and to fully tell Jim's story".
"We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State."
In the email, the kidnappers explain their wish for US-educated, Pakistani-born scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui to be released.
Siddiqui was found with documents on chemical weapons, dirty bombs and viruses when she was arrest in Afghanistan in 2008. She is serving 86 years in a US jail.
Speaking on NBC, the Foleys said they felt comforted by Pope Francis, who called them on Thursday to express his condolences.
Mrs Foley said the Pontiff, who lost some relatives in an accident recently, was "so kind" to call "in the midst of his tremendous grief".
As efforts continue to track down Mr Foley's killer, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the threat posed by IS is "beyond anything we have seen".
The group said it beheaded Mr Foley in retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq aimed at reversing the sweeping gains made by IS this summer.
Counter-terrorism police in the UK have already begun efforts to identify the black-clad man seen in the video killing Mr Foley.
Although his face is covered, he speaks with an English, possibly London, accent.