President Donald Trump addressed the nation Sunday morning to confirm the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, in a targeted raid carried out by U.S. forces in Syria. In his remarks, the president also mentioned some of the victims of ISIS, including New Hampshire native James Foley.
Foley, of Rochester, was working as a freelance journalist for Boston-based GlobalPost when he was kidnapped outside an Internet café in Syria in 2012. He was killed by Islamic State militants nearly two years later in a graphic video released online.
Foley's mother, Diane, released a statement following Trump's remarks Sunday, saying in part, "I am grateful to our president and brave troops for finding ISIS leader al-Baghdadi. I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable."
Diane Foley, who is president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which advocates for the freedom of all American hostages abroad and promotes the safety of journalists worldwide, added that she remains concerned about the Americans being held hostage in Syria.
"I remain concerned about the dozen Americans held hostage in Syria, including Austin Tice and Majd Kamalmaz," she continued in her statement. "And I ask President Trump to make them, and all American hostages, a priority."
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, also issued a statement Sunday, in which the New Hampshire Democrat specifically mentioned Foley as she praised the news of al-Baghdadi's death as justice.
"The death of al-Baghdadi is a triumph for our nation’s anti-terrorism efforts and is a testament to the persistence and expertise of our military and intelligence services,” said Shaheen. “al-Baghdadi spread a heinous terrorist ideology which must continue to be snuffed out in Syria and around the world. al-Baghdadi has the blood of Americans on his hands—including Granite Stater James Foley—and has finally been brought to justice. I congratulate President Trump, our allies who assisted in this effort, and, in particular, those who risked their lives in this raid.”