The British ambassador to the United States has revealed that officials "are close" to identifying the Islamic militant with a strong English accent responsible for the beheading of American journalist James Foley last week.
"We're putting a great deal into the search," Peter Westmacott told CNN on Sunday, referring to the use of sophisticated technology to analyze the killer's voice.
Westmacott refused to comment further on the possible identity of the militant, who is seen in the video dressed in black, standing over 40-year-old Foley. more >>
Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has declared an "Islamic Caliphate" in the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, which it seized earlier in August and slaughtered over 100 civilians.
"Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate," Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says in a 52-minute video obtained by AFP on Sunday, which also apparently shows the execution of civilians.
The Nigerian military has rejected the claim, stating that the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact." more >>
James Foley, the American photojournalist beheaded by ISIS militants was reportedly trying to forge dialogue between Christians and Muslims, his former fellow hostage said.
"It's completely ironic," French journalist Nicolas Henin told the Irish Times after learning of Foley's beheading. "James got hold of a Koran in English and he was fascinated by it. There were times he read it without interruption. After being taken hostage twice, he said his career as a reporter was obviously jinxed."
However, Foley was not deterred and continued working for the Global Post and the Agence France-Presse. He was taken hostage in 2012 while on assignment in Syria, which was under attack from ISIS at the time. During his imprisonment, Foley was convicted and felt the need to try and do his part to encourage dialogue between Christians and Muslims. more >>
As ISIS continues to kill Christians and religious minorities throughout Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon has issued a statement warning of the extremity of ISIS' actions and the danger the Jihadists pose.
"They are beyond just a terrorist group," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a news briefing on Thursday. "They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess … this is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready."
It's the second time this week that ISIS' ideology has been condemned by the U.S. government. President Obama addressed the group's motives during a press conference on the murder of American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS, and whose death has stirred emotions around the world. more >>
The minority Christian community in Pakistan is said to be outraged following the rape of a 12-year-old Christian girl in Lahore by two Muslim men. Christian advocates have said Muslims often use sexual violence as a means of controlling the Christian population, especially women and girls.
"In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished," Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill told Fides News Agency.
"Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance," Gill added. more >>
Pope Francis has called the family of American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by Islamic militants in a video posted by terror group ISIS earlier this week. The family is said to be "moved and grateful" by the pontiff's gesture.
"Pope Francis phoned the family of #JamesFoley this afternoon at their residence in New Hampshire. The family was 'moved and grateful,'" Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, wrote in a Twitter message Thursday.
Martin clarified that a Vatican official gave him permission to share the news. more >>