The U.K. Metropolitan Police have warned that viewing, downloading or disseminating the video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley could be a crime under anti-terrorism laws.
Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his holiday for the second time on Thursday to hold briefings on the incident, as the British accent of the murderer suggests that he could be one of the hundreds of U.K. citizens who went to fight in Syria with the anti-government rebels, and eventually joined the forces of Islamic State.
From Downing Street, Mr. Cameron said that it is “increasingly likely” that a British jihadist carried out the killing. “Let me condemn the barbaric and brutal act that has taken place and let’s be clear what this act is — it is an act of murder, and murder without any justification,” Mr. Cameron said.
British intelligence agencies are using voice recognition technology to identify the suspected British executioner. His accent suggests that he may be from London.
Meanwhile, two other former hostages of the IS have spoken to the media on the killer’s identity. One of them, 53-year old Didier Francois, was released this April. He told Europe 1 Radio that he was warned that if he told the media that he had been held with Mr. Foley and Steven Joel Sotloff (another journalist), reprisals would follow. Mr. Francois is reported as saying that Mr. Foley had been singled out for extra beating because his captors discovered photographs of his brother, who works for the U.S. Air Force.
This was confirmed by Nicolas Henin, a reporter who was also taken hostage by IS forces. He told L’Express magazine that Mr. Foley became the “whipping boy of jailors” because he happened to be the brother of an American soldier.