A video showing the apparent beheading of a US journalist by an Islamic State fighter speaking with a British accent appears to be genuine and is “an appalling example of the brutality of this organisation, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
US authorities are investigating the video posted to YouTube on Tuesday purporting the beheading of journalist James Foley, who went missing in Syria in 2012.
Hammond said the video had not been verified but “all the hallmarks point to it being genuine” and acknowledged that the killer spoke with a British accent.
James Foley disappeared in 2012 in Syria
He told the BBC: “Certainly at first pass that’s what it looks like and we will obviously want to investigate that further.
“We have been saying for a long time that there are a significant number of British nationals in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organisations.
“That’s one of the reasons why this organisation represents such a direct threat to the UK’s national security.
“Many of these people may seek at some point to return to the UK and they would then pose a direct threat to our domestic security.”
Released by the Al-Furqan foundation, the film shows a man who says he is Foley kneeling in a desert, flanked by a black-cowled militant for the Islamic State (IS).