Mother of Slain Journalist James Foley Speaks Out as ISIS Militants Face Charges

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Diane Foley has been seeking justice after the kidnapping and brutal murder of her son James Foley, and she hopes that she may finally get her wish as two ISIS militants have been charged in connection to the journalist’s death.

“It was eight years ago, and we’ve been seeking justice for six long years,” Diane Foley said. “I’m incredibly grateful. It’s been a long time coming.”

Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh will be charged with murder in connection to the case. They are two of four former ISIS militants thought to be responsible for Foley’s murder, along with the deaths of three other Americans in Syria.

“These men will now be brought before a U.S. court to face justice for the depraved acts alleged against them in this indictment,” Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney Zachary Terwilliger said.

Foley is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, and was working as a freelance reporter during the Syrian Civil War when he was kidnapped in 2012. He was held hostage for nearly two years before being beheaded by his captors in Aug. 2014.

On Wednesday, Elsheikh and Kotey were flown to the United States from Iraq, where they had been held for the previous year. Their families had sought to have them tried in Great Britain, where penalties are not as severe, but they will now face charges in the United States.

Even still, Foley’s mother does not want the men to face the death penalty.

“If they are convicted, they should be held for the rest of their lives,” she said. “I am hoping they will implicate others who may be hiding in refugee camps or other parts of Europe, or to even help us find where the remains of our loved ones are.”

Diane Foley is also hoping that her son’s legacy will be remembered, and that future journalists will be inspired to show the courage that he did.

“I am very proud of Jim. He aspired to be a man of moral courage, and he knew that to be a really good journalist, you needed moral courage,” she said.

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