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Slain journalist's employer publishes email to family from Islamic State

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[August 22, 2014]  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The online news publication that employed slain U.S. journalist James Foley has published the full text of the email to his family from his Islamist militant captors in which they said they would execute him in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes.

Boston-based GlobalPost said on Thursday the Foley family had agreed to release the email that it received from Islamic State a week before the video of his execution was released on Tuesday.

The publication said it chose "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."

Foley was beheaded by the group in an act shown in a video released in which Islamic State called for the United States to end its airstrikes in Iraq.

The email addressed as "a message to the American government and their sheep like citizens," said: "You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted."


The group added that it also offered prisoner exchanges for "Muslims currently in your detention."

Instead, the note added, "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!"

Asserting that the United States did not spare women, children or the elderly, the group added: "We will NOT spare yours!"

The email ended with a declaration that Foley "will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!"

Highlighting what it called inaccuracies in the email, GlobalPost said the Foley family "was not 'given many chances to negotiate' for Jim’s release."

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"After more than a year without contact, the Foleys received their first message from Jim’s captors on Nov. 26, 2013, asking for money, fast," the publication added.

"After the militants had proved to the Foleys and investigators that they were in fact holding Jim, they made their sole demand for a ransom of 100 million euros (about $132 million) or the release of unspecified prisoners held by the United States," it said.

The Foleys did not hear back until the threatening email this month, GlobalPost said.

The family passed the message on to the U.S. government, GlobalPost's chief executive, Phil Balboni, said in an interview earlier on Thursday, adding that the FBI helped craft a response, pleading for mercy.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Ken Wills)

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