An American journalist was released from captivity by an al-Qaeda related group on Sunday, possibly thanks to the attention drawn from James Foley's brutal death.
"I don't know what was going through their heads but there can be no doubt they realized it was not in their best interests to be holding an American hostage at this time," GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni told MailOnline.
Peter Theo Curtis was kidnapped while in Turkey in 2012 before he could enter Syria to document the humanitarian crisis in the country. He was held by an al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Nusra Front. They made the decision to release him to UN intermediaries on Sunday, but nothing is known about what exactly led to his release. However, Balboni, who employed Foley, believes that his death and the attention brought by it, was a contributing factor. more >>
The home church of U.S. journalist James Foley, who was brutally beheaded by ISIS militants last week, held a memorial service in Rochester, New Hampshire, Sunday, remembering him for living his faith by highlighting suffering. The journalist's family released a final letter sent by him while he was in captivity, where he prayed regularly.
The memorial Mass was attended by Foley's parents, John and Diane Foley, and hundreds of others at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary church, The Associated Press reported.
Bishop Peter Libasci, who spoke at the memorial Mass, was quoted as telling the crowd that Foley was captured for the first time in Libya in 2011, and yet he "went back again that we might open our eyes. That we might indeed know how precious is this gift. May almighty God grant peace to James and to all our fragile world." 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 >>
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 >>