James Foley's Father, Hometown React After "Jihadi John" Identified | NECN
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James Foley's Father, Hometown React After "Jihadi John" Identified

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The name of the ISIS militant responsible for beheading journalist James Foley and several others was confirmed by a U.S. intelligence official, who said the masked man appearing in several ISIS propaganda videos is Mohammed Emwazi. (Published Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015)

    The name of the ISIS militant responsible for beheading journalist James Foley and several others was confirmed by a U.S. intelligence official, who said the masked man appearing in several ISIS propaganda videos is Mohammed Emwazi.

    However, the identity, according to Foley's father and residents of his hometown, is not that important.

    "Discovering who he is might be important to some people, but it's not important to me," said John Foley, according to NBC News. "Jihadi John happened to be in that position. But if it were not him, it would be somebody else."

    He added: "If we keep hating one another and hurting one another how do we ever get to peace?"

    Necn talked with a lot of people in Foley's hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire, and while it seems almost everyone has been following the developments, they say the man's identity was not what they were waiting to hear.

    "It's one thing to identify him but it's quite another to take him into custody and hold him accountable and bring him to justice," Mayor T.J. Jean said.

    A giant banner still hangs in the center of Rochester as a tribute to James Foley and his sacrifice.

    "He's a hero, he did what he believed in, he stuck to it," Rochester resident Ryan Higgins said.

    People remember the morning back in August 2014, when ISIS released a propaganda video showing a masked executioner beheading Foley.

    "If you were at home or at work, everyone was talking about how terrible it was," Higgins recalled.

    Rochester residents clearly want more than the man's identity.

    "For me, it doesn't change anything to know the person," Niki Patridge said.

    Her husband, Rick, agreed.

    "Until he's caught, you can know the name of anybody, but it doesn't matter," he said.

    In video's released after Foley's death, Emwazi sounded British; now that U.S. official is confirming that Emwazi grew up in London. After college, Emwazi is believed to have traveled to Syria in 2012, where he joined ISIS. Rochester residents admit the information is a step in the right direction, but are afraid there's a long, long way to go in the war on terror.

    "There's no punishment or recourse that could be enough for these people who do those types of things," Higgins said.

    Most residents say if Emwazi is captured and held accountable, then maybe this city can find some peace. 

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