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Parents of slain U.S. journalist release email from captors

By Rick Gladstone

New York Times

LAST UPDATED: 4:00 a.m. HST, Aug 22, 2014

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by Islamist militant kidnappers, released on Thursday an email from his captors, dated Aug. 12, in which the militants proclaimed with strident bombast that he would be the first of many Americans to die.

GlobalPost, the news website that had employed Foley and helped his parents seek his release for the past two years, published the full text of the email from the Islamic State, which called it "a message to the American government and their sheep-like citizens."

The email, interspersed with sentences in all capital letters or italics, exclamation points for emphasis and a few misspellings, offered the first confirmation from the Islamic State that it had wanted a ransom or prisoner swaps for Foley and other American hostages. "You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted," the letter read.

GlobalPost said, however, that the family had heard nothing from the captors for more than a year before receiving a demand for a ransom of 100 million euros, or about $132 million.

The email denounced the Obama administration's order for aerial attacks on Islamic State positions in Iraq, accusing it of "cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation," and warned: "Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTILL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD."

The email announced that Foley would be the first captive killed. "He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!" it concluded.

Foley, 40, disappeared on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria. His captors are believed to be holding at least three other Americans.

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