Islamic State: Foley Family Believes James Could Have Volunteered Beheading to Spare Lives of Fellow Hostages

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 23, 2014 3:46 PM EST

Did American photojournalist give up his life so his fellow hostages would be spared from being beheaded too?

The family of James Foley believes it is in his character to give way to the extent that he could have possibly volunteered to be decapitated so the other captives would live.

REUTERS/Tommy Giglio/Northwest
U.S. journalist James Foley speaks at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications in Evanston, Illinois, after being released from imprisonment in Libya, in this 2011 handout photo provided by Northwestern University.

"[He] truly care more about others than himself. I think he was probably the strongest and most prepare for it. God forbid there's others. But you can see from the clips, from the video, he wasn't afraid," The Telegraph quoted 38-year-old Michael Foley, brother of the slain journalist.

Besides sharing their thoughts on the death of James, or Jim to the family, the Foleys also disclosed that they received an email from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), warning them of the price that the US would pay for air strikes on ISIL targets in Iraq. James would be the first blood to be shed, the email said.

The email, which threatened that the group "will not stop until we quench our thirst for your blood," was possibly written by John, the black-hooded man in the viral video with a British accent and was James' executioner.

In the email, ISIL also demanded a $100 million ransom, but the Foley family, as a compromise, was trying to raise a much smaller amount. Despite the threat to James's life, the Foleys admitted they were happy to receive the email because it gave them hope, being the first communication from James's abductors.

Read: American Journalist Steven Sotloff at Risk of Beheading Too If US Gov't Refuses to Pay $100 Million Ransom to Islamc State Like It Did With James Foley

The family admitted to watching the video of the beheading even if it was painful to them because "we just need to know," John and Diane Foley, the parents, said.

They also shared that they received a phone call from Pope Francis. "He offered us his personal prayer and we felt very comforted and supported in that regard," John said.

The Foleys are Catholics and James had a deep faith, wrote David McKay Wilson who interviewed Foley in 2011 for an article in the alumni magazine of Marquette University. James studied at Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he received his bachelor's degree in history and deepened his faith was well.

Wilson wrote that Foley survived his 45 days of captivity in Libya by praying the rosary daily. He was eventually freed after paying $150 fine for entering Libya without a visa.

However, this time, Foley paid with his life, and in the process, possibly saved others from suffering the same fate.

Read:

Intelligence Agencies Hunt for James Foley Beheader Using Voice Recognition Technology

After James Foley, ISIL Threatens to Behead Another American Journalist Steven Sotloff

British PM David Cameron Cuts Short Summer Holiday to Lead Hunt for Foley Beheader

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(Photo: REUTERS/Tommy Giglio/Northwest / )
U.S. journalist James Foley speaks at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications in Evanston, Illinois, after being released from imprisonment in Libya, in this 2011 handout photo provided by Northwestern University.
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