President Obama makes a statement to the press on the death of American journalist James Foley at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. (Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — President Obama said he spoke to the parents of beheaded freelance journalist James Foley Wednesday, and promised that “justice will be done” to the Islamic State militants who beheaded him.
“The entire world is appalled” by Foley’s murder, Obama said, condemning the terrorist group that had taken him and another journalist hostage in Iraq.
“ISIL speaks for no religion,” Obama said, noting that its victims are overwhelmingly Muslim. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ... Their ideology is bankrupt.”
Obama renewed his call for Iraq to unify around a new government to fight the extremists, saying, “There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread.”
Obama’s statement comes after U.S. intelligence officials examined videos purporting to show militants beheading Foley and threatening another hostage, journalist Steven Sotloff.
“We have reached the judgment that this video is authentic. We will continue to provide updates as they are available,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
Obama spoke from a press center on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is vacationing with his family.