ISIS' Final Email to James Foley Family: Filled With Threats to America

Here is the final email ISIS sent to the family of journalist James Wright Foley, who was executed this week. As for the reasons for disclosing it:

The Foley family has agreed to release the email from Foley’s captors. GlobalPost has chosen to publish it 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.

The full text of the email is below: [More...]


A message to the American government and their sheep like citizens:

We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so!

As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WHERE EATEN!

You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,
We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.

You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force, a language you were given in “Arabic translation” when you attempted to occupy the land of Iraq!
Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and “proxy armies”, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!


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!

< U.S. Failed ISIS Raid Took Place in Ukayrishah, Raqqa | James Foley Killing: Knife Switch? >
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    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:45:48 PM EST
    He was executed as a direct result of no ransom being paid.  
    The sick self righteous psychopaths might at least have the decency to admit that they are really in it for the money and drop the grandiose bullsh!t.

    In an odd way I am less afraid of them (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:30:47 AM EST
    as a threat to the US in general after reading this. I think they come across as a criminal gang, rather like the drug cartels. No doubt they are dangerous to people in their path, but I don't see a lot of political strategic thinking at play, as we used to see in OBLs tapes and writings.

    I totally agree (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:16:30 AM EST
    At least with OBL you could say (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37:56 PM EST
    'He is a murderous SOB that deserves whatever comes to him when we catch him...but he does make some interesting points.'

    It seems to me that that was written (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:41:32 AM EST
    at least as much for their own supporters as it was for "us." iow, that's the type of comic book level communication that their supporters respond to.

    Maybe a few shipments (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:48:15 AM EST
    Of Monty Python videos would help solve the problem.

    Nobody expects... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:53:27 PM EST
    ... the monty python videos!

    Maybe (2.00 / 1) (#3)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:22:06 AM EST
    we could have raised the ransom and saved his life...

    In another comment you talk about putting (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:16:11 AM EST
    Us in greater danger.  That would do it.  Plus I think it was 100mill.  That's a lot of bake sales.

    Correction (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:39:44 AM EST
    It was 100 million euros.  About 130 mil.  Also someone from his organization just said it was believed the price was so high because they were never really interested in negotiating his release.
    Aparrently most other ransoms have been in the 7 figure range.  So she said.

    I had seen (none / 0) (#49)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:03:15 PM EST
    somewhere that they had asked for 23 million.
    You saw it was 100 million.

    In any case, I saw no mention of the ransom until after the posting of the video.


    USA (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:44:57 PM EST

    New details are emerging surrounding the kidnapping and attempted military rescue of American journalist James Foley, whose beheading by the militant group Islamic State was revealed in a chilling video posted to the Internet this week.

    The head of GlobalPost - the U.S.-based online publication Foley was working for when he was abducted in 2012 - says Islamic extremists demanded 100 million Euros ($132.5 million) for Foley's freedom. They also e-mailed Foley's family directly days before his death.

    "There was only one ransom demand,'' GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni told USA Today Thursday night. "There was never a negotiation. They never responded with a different figure and we never stated a figure. We simply responded to that (ransom) email in a very deliberate way with the advice of our security consultants and the FBI."

    Boston-based GlobalPost "never took the 100 million seriously" because ransoms paid for other hostages being held by Islamic State were "dramatically less," Balboni said.

    He said amounts paid in the past to free hostages was 2 to 4 million euros. "We thought that something in the range of 5 million was probably the right amount to pay for the ransom," he said.

    Balboni said the 100 million Euros demand was considered to be "some form of opening gambit that was so wildly excessive that no one could ever raise that kind of money."

    There (none / 0) (#52)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:37:17 PM EST
    is something fishy about all this.
    "New details" emerging and all...

    And now, the knife switch...

    At the moment, the bottom line for me is that when we are being asked to go to war - or - more accurately - being told that we are going to war - there should be no question about anything.

    Now, they are trotting out the retired generals, the Joint Chiefs, "top advisors", and the rest of the lot telling us that we should bomb Syria and not be bound by borders.

    Nothing has any meaning.
    They will do what they are going to do, and we will have nothing to say about it.


    It struck me early on... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:02:03 AM EST
    ...that there's something very "scripted" about the way ISIS/ISIL popped up out of nowhere well organized and well funded about the time we had lots of "brushfires" to contend with in the Middle East, but no one big "designated bad guy".

    Or as I put it earlier, if they didn't exist would Tom Clancy have had to have invented them.


    I mean its basically an industry over there with the amounts Europe, Asia and various Arab states have paid out.

    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:34:21 AM EST
    get the impression that many, or any, will share my sentiments...
    but I think that, once again, we have taken sides in the conflict of another country. And this time, we have engaged a ruthless enemy who has now threatened us at home.

    I do not for a moment believe that our intervention is based on humanitarianism.

    I do not believe that our involvement can be contained as promised by President Obama. Indeed there are already more "advisors" being despatched, and calls for bombing in Syria.

    I think that our actions have unnecessarily placed us in great danger. It also assures the continued diversion of our resources from the needs of our citizens to the needs of our politicians, their ideological supporters, their media and propaganda outlets and their corporate financiers.

    Whether or not your (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:30:50 PM EST
    sentiments are shared, yours and others' concerns need to be openly and fully discussed.  Some members of Congress, such as Senator Kaine (D. VA),  have called for a new war resolution. Apparently, a quaint idea, especially when the old Iraq war resolution (AUMF) is still on the books, despite the administration wanting it to end.  But, Congress, when faced with its responsibilities, can't decide if it should call a meeting or a cab.

    With the onus, therefore,  on the administration, it is particularly necessary for it to tell the American people the full story, risks and all.  No BS.  Shoe-horning a new and expanded war into the humanitarianism of saving mountain people on the mountain or the prevention of flooding the embassy in Baghdad from a sabotaged dam in Mosul, will not do. . And, of course, do we need to sell war on the fearful prospect of  terrorism in Topeka?

    As President Obama has said, it is easier to get into a war than get out of one.  Our intelligence, once again, has not been up to snuff on the new enemy, ISIS--while precision is not expected, numerical strength should be known within thousands.   But what is known is that they are deploying US military hardware picked up after being abandoned by Iraqi military. And, Russian armaments picked up from that seized from Syrian forces.  I wonder if they also picked up mechanics and spare parts to keep it all going.  

     Is it wise to arm Syrian rebel moderates, some of whom have lived in London exile for years?  Will Saudi troops be willing to put boots on the ground, against fellow Sunnis, albeit extremists.  Will this be a source of more military arms for ISIS?  What also is known, is that they are uncivil and barbarous. But, so have the Maliki supported militias been, and, of course, the Taliban in Afghanistan.  

    As for all the Lindsey McCains, we know their war strategy---bomb.  But, what is their exit/peace strategy?  Apparently no need for one, at least for the next 100 years, the likely consequence of their wonderous "plan."   We can be sure that they would never support a "war sur-tax" so as to get every American's skin in the game.  Sentiments for caution, consideration of our economy and discussion of global ramifications are needed.  Don't do stupid stuff is as good an organizing principle as there is.  


    The major, major difference to me (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:33:12 PM EST
    is that this isn't the victims of attacks putting out possibly misleading video, or the US claiming mass graves (Kosovo), this is the group itself posting video of beheadings and mass executions, this is how they themselves want to be percieved and their actions heretofore have shown that perception to be largely accurate-- this is a genocidal death cult, they want a state and they want to kill anyone in that state that doesn't believe exactly as they do-- the best comparison is the Khmer Rouge, not the Taliban.

    The issue, for me, (none / 0) (#39)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:08:50 PM EST
    is not a competition of evil despots, Khmer Rouge or Taliban, but rather, how best  to confront and degrade the ISIS threat to the region.

    Khmer Rouge was a communist party in Cambodia that was in power from 1975 until they fled in 1979 in the wake of their genocidal governance. As the monarchy of Cambodia was eventually restored  negotiations provided amnesty for the Khmer Rouge.  

    The Taliban found themselves in our sights after 9/11, when President Bush demanded that they hand over Osama and expel al Qaeda.  The Taliban agreed that bin Laden leave Afghanistan, but would not extradite him without evidence being given to them that Osama was responsible for the attack.  Bush would not continue negotiations and started a war, Oct 7, 2001, that drove the Taliban from running the Afghanistan government.  Most Taliban were not captured, (nor was Osama) fleeing to the countryside or Pakistan only to return to fight again--and again.   Fourteen years later with so many casualties and treasure lost,  we are leaving Afghanistan, and recognize that the Taliban are a factor and force in that country's future.

    My hope is that we will use our experiences wisely, learning from all our mistakes, and, not, repeat them by fashioning a reactionary response that brings instant national gratification and long-term regret.


    I think Tracy made a very good point (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:34:28 PM EST
    The other day about the fact that if they are "hiring" recruits, and paying top dollar, it's does seem that infiltrating them is a real possibility.  If that happens our odds are going to improve quickly.

    Can I just ask (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by sj on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:05:23 PM EST
    I think Tracy made a very good point (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 04:34:28 PM MDT

    The other day about the fact that if they are "hiring" recruits, and paying top dollar, it's does seem that infiltrating them is a real possibility.

    How does this differ in concept from our "all volunteer" military?

    Um (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:09:47 PM EST
    Not really criticizing the concept of paying recruits.  Just making the point about being ripe for infiltration.   And I don't really think the US military is equally ripe.  For many reasons.

    Not sure that's what you were looking for there.


    That said (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:20:55 PM EST
    They are paying a lot more relative to the local pay scale that the US military.  More, as squeaky pointed out, on the Merc pay scale.  Which of course we do too.

    Yes, and another, (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:37:49 PM EST
    ironic, strategy is likely to be "detente" with Assad.  The enemy of my enemy....  Which may graft us unto Assad's friend, Putin.    Geopolitics can be head-scratching.

    Yep (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:47:51 PM EST
    Google what Putinis up to today.   Not an accident?

    Made the mistake (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:58:50 PM EST
    of glancing at Tweety on Hardball.  Also, an echo chamber of a former general and a terrorist expert, as they were introduced.    Oh my goodness. .. what is Obama waiting for, is the line,  the horrific killing of James Foley was an attack on the US, not unlike 9/11, and, Foley was a Christian, too.  

    Don't get me started (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:06:06 PM EST
    On that guy

    I don't think anyone in the world is (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:32:00 PM EST
    Interested in friending Assad other than Russia.  I still hold out for the secular Sunni majority re-shaping this, I think that is who everyone in NATO desires to work with and empower.

    Maybe not (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:30:25 PM EST
    friending Assad, or "partnering", but working with him in detente.   Overthrowing Assad at this point may well put ISIS in the driver's seat.   The Alawites will welcome our help in the face of ISIS Sunni extremists.   A detente will require some maneuvering and word-smithing, but I believe it will occur.

    I don't (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:10:01 AM EST
    Or for God's sake (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:33:18 AM EST

    The Lion's Den....

    Good luck ISIL, you're going to need every scrap, scraping, and ounce.

    If they were not such brutal monsters (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:18:10 AM EST
    It would almost be comical.

    It reads like a bad movie script (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:09:44 AM EST
    And the exclamation points, petulant. For some reason I can't fathom, the swords bit brought a Monty Python image to my head.

    Please realize all that is prefaced by your comment "If they were not such brutal monsters"  . . .


    I wasn't going to go there,,,but me too (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:16:37 AM EST
    I thought of Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' immediately.

    Heh, (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:30:49 AM EST
    I was thinking there was something wrong with me. Perhaps too jaded after the Bush/Cheney years . . .  ;P

    Yup (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    I wish people wouldn't say "executed"... (none / 0) (#2)
    by crimebird on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:18:42 PM EST
    but just simply "murdered"...Just like they shouldn't say he was "captured" but "kidnapped" or "abducted." Using terms like executed and captured to describe crimes like these dresses them up with the legitimacy enjoyed by recognized nation states...which despite its pretensions, the ISIS is definitely not. We don't say the Manson family "executed" its victims. We shouldn't use the same quasi-official sounding language to dignify the acts of people who cut the heads off of completely helpless and innocent victims. Just call acts like that what they are...murder.

    there is a distinction between capture and kidnap (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:15:08 AM EST
    in war. If one is taken by the enemy on the battlefield, it's a capture, not a kidnap. This was an issue among journalists when discussing the potential capture of the Israeli solder during a fight. The mainstream media quickly abandoned use of the word "kidnap" and began using "capture."

    An execution is a state-sanctioned killing. The dictionary defines it as "the carrying out of a sentence of death on a condemned person." ISIS says it is a state, not an organization. It condemned Foley to death. It also condemns spies and apostates to death. These killings by ISIS are properly called executions.

    Would you also object to the use of the term assassination?  It's also a "murder" but the dictionary defines it as "to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person."

    When there is a more specific word that applies, be it assassination, execution, etc. there is no reason not to use it.


    Wow, my head just exploded Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:48:23 AM EST
    Just exploded

    Journalists are not combatants on the battlefield.  They do lose their lives in war zones, but journalists are kidnapped...never captured.  If someone switched the words out....they are battlefield WRONG.

    By the book, Foley was murdered.  He wasn't a soldier...he wasn't executed....he was murdered.

    ISIL can call it something else, but they don't observe any rules of war.  They have taken a daily $hit on the Geneva Conventions.  And I don't live by ISIL's rules, not now, not ever.


    ISIS saying it is a state does not make it one (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    If I declare myself the queen of my own state of Sheba and kill someone that comes in my yard...well, bad example since this is Florida and it would probably be legal...but no one would call it a state sanctioned execution.

    I agree that if Foley had (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:19:57 AM EST
    been captured during a battle then captured would be correct.

    But ISIS is not a state no matter what they claim so they murder. They do not execute.


    An execution is a sort of ritual murder (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:27:22 AM EST
    and is what happened to the founder of Christianity.  From The Devils Disciple, by B. B. Shaw:

    RICHARD. Answer for your own will, sir, and those of your accomplices here (indicating Burgoyne and Swindon): I see little divinity about them or you. You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense! (To Swindon, more rudely) You've got up the solemnity of the occasion, as you call it, to impress the people with your own dignity--Handel's music and a clergyman to make murder look like piety! Do you suppose I am going to help you? You've asked me to choose the rope because you don't know your own trade well enough to shoot me properly. Well, hang away and have done with it.

    SWINDON (to the chaplain). Can you do nothing with him, Mr. Brudenell?

    CHAPLAIN. I will try, sir. (Beginning to read) Man that is born of woman hath--

    RICHARD (fixing his eyes on him). "Thou shalt not kill."

    The book drops in Brudenell's hands.

    Nonsense. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:06:57 PM EST
    Sorry, but that's exactly what (none / 0) (#31)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:46:52 PM EST
    an execution is in this country.  From the New Testament, Romans 12, 19-21:

    "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."


    These idiots are SO easily beaten PR-wise (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:57:36 AM EST
    But rather than be imaginative and engage their lame asses rhetorically, all we do is bring out the hammer. Yes, you need the hammer, but if you haven't the smarts or savvy to understand the importance of the pulpit, in our position, in the context of THIS conflict, we're doomed.

    24/7 we should be inviting these morons to express themselves, their desires, to the world on OUR network, give them the time to spew, the time to be challenged by those Muslims with actual brain cells in their head.

    It's called an unprecedented rhetorical and media battle, face to face, let them have the stage, say, okay, here's your chance to convince the world to live by your tenets. Convince us.

    And they would fail miserably.

    But instead, we play the same tired military game designed by halfwits.

    To repeat, yes, you need to have that military game ready to go, as we do, but YOU MUST HAVE SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT, something widly imaginative to counter the "death to imagination" nihilism of the other side.

    Again, tho, we're more stupid than we have any excuse for.

    Well (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 08:13:53 AM EST
    As far as we know the US is managing their PR.

    I certainly would not be surprised.


    I think Dick Cheney and (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    Donald Rumsfeld are their consulting firm :)

    Yes (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:53:35 AM EST
    Whoever is doing PR for them, they appear to be winning over western hearts and minds, which is always the precursor to guns bombs and boots.

    At the very least (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:08:30 AM EST
    The Carlisle Group needs to turn a profit

    I think kidnapping and killing our journalists (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    probably means they have no desire to tell their story in our network.

    Maybe they are already smart enough to know how ridiculous they sound.


    We are playing PR (none / 0) (#37)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:35:30 PM EST
    we're just backing it with airstrikes, which seems reasonable.

    Foley's employer's statements (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:34:39 AM EST
    must be disturbing to Foley's family: employer expected the kidnappers to lower their ransom demand despite employer's failure to respond to initial demand.


    I swear these people misjudge the US at least (none / 0) (#34)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:27:44 PM EST
    as badly as we misjudge other cultures-- this isn't AQ trying to draw the US into a war because they think they can wear us down, ISIL actually had a pretty good run and were staring down the possibility of maybe having a state carved out of war-torn territories, then got too greedy and bloodthirsty and now its basically all desperation and bluster-- the US doesn't back down from crap like this all it does is turn many of those in the country who were opposed to intervention in any way into supporters of limited strikes to kill ISIL.

    Then again, ISIL probably should be stomped out root and branch they're the Khmer Rouge of the 2010s-- the far, far more extreme byproduct of regional instability that scares and enrages even the hardened enemies, you can't negotiate with a group that essentially advertises its desire to commit mass murder and genocide, you can only try and wipe them out.

    I completely agree (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:36:19 PM EST