NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Days after a video of freelance American photojournalist James Foley being beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham was released to NBC News, New Rochelle residents remain amazed that the conflict took such a bloody turn.
Earlier this week, a graphic video of Foley reciting threats against the U.S. before he was beheaded by a jihadist militant, who may have been British was released to the news outlet, in an attempt to get President Barack Obama to stop airstrikes in Iraq, where ISIS was advancing on assets in the Kurdish region.
In New Rochelle on Wednesday, Aug. 21, Kim Browne said that she was surprised things escalated so quickly, after Obama authorized the strikes earlier this month.
“It’s like a scene from a movie. It’s almost hard to really believe that someone completely innocent would suffer that fate,” she said. “It’s scary to think about what the other side is capable of.”
Foley had gone missing in Syria two years earlier while he was reporting on the conflict. On Wednesday, the president noted, “the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group.”
“It’s bad, but I hope the president doesn’t back down because of this. If anything, we should ramp things up and show them we aren’t going to take it,” Pete Benenati said. “I’m sure it won’t be the popular choice, but I think we should avenge this.”
Both American and British intelligence officers have been hard at work analyzing the video since its release, seeking to determine the identity of Foley’s murderer. Reports have claimed that the killer spoke with a British accent, but no official determination has been released yet.
“At first, I really thought it was a hoax, there was something about the (still) of the video that just looked off,” Dan Kelleher said in New Rochelle on Wednesday. “But the more information that comes out really isn’t leaving a whole lot of doubt for me.”
U.S. officials have verified the authenticity of the video.