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James Foley's Mother 'Appalled' By U.S. Inaction Over Kidnapping, Launches Foley Fund


The mother of slain journalist and New Hampshire native James Foley says the U.S. government threatened prosecution if the family attempted to raise ransom.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Diane Foley said she was “embarrassed and appalled” by the way the American government dealt with her son’s case.

James Foley, a Rochester native, was killed by the militant group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. A video of his murder was released in August.

In her interview, Diane Foley said U.S. officials told the family not to go to the media and that the government would not exchange prisoners for her son’s release.

“He was sacrificed because of just a lack of coordination, a lack of communication, lack of prioritization,” she said. “As a family, we had to find our way through this on our own.”

She said the family was also told that raising a ransom to free Foley was illegal and could lead to prosecution.

In response, the Foley family has launched the James W. Foley Legacy Fund to support families of other hostages, and to try to establish international standard for kidnapping prevention and resolution, so "That our Government can have a better response to American hostages and their families," she told CNN.

The fund will also support American journalists in conflict zones, and promote quality education for urban youth – an issue the family says the late James Foley was passionate about. 

Foley was one of two American journalists recently killed by the Islamic State.

Two weeks after video of Foley’s murder surfaced, another was released of Steven Sotloff being killed.

Sotloff graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden.

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.
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