Barack Obama has confirmed journalist James Foley was executed as his parents say he would have volunteered to go ahead of other hostages.
“ISIL speaks for no religion,” he said, using the White House’s preferred name for the Iraqi militants. “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”
“Not just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day,” he said. “Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL.”
Foley, 40, who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago, was forced to recite anti-American hatred before a masked ISIS killer put the knife to his neck.
John and Diane Foley fought back tears as they spoke of their son’s bravery.
“He was a martyr for freedom,” Mr Foley said. “His brother Michael and I are both sure he volunteered to go first.”
“I am sure he wouldn’t shrink from the situation and said someone has got to go first. That is who he was,” he said. “He met the most horrific end and it haunts me how much pain he must have been and how cruel this method of execution is as opposed to so many others.
“He was courageous to the end and he accepted his situation and he gathered his faith,” Mr Foley said.
Iraqi militants have threatened to behead Time journalist Steven Joel Sotloff next unless the US ends its air strikes.
In Foley’s execution video, the militants display Sotloff saying he would be next unless the United States backs off.
Sotloff was abducted in Syria in August 2013.
“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the masked man says.
ISIS — the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — had warned the United States of the potential murder in an earlier video, saying, “We will drown all of you in blood” in revenge.