AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Journalist James Foley, who was brutally killed by members of the extremist group Islamic State, is being mourned at UMass Amherst, where he obtained a master’s degree more than 10 years ago. University spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski issued a statement Wednesday, saying that Foley’s killing “brings great sorrow and grief to the university community.”
“Foley is remembered as a courageous journalist who spent his time reporting stories from some of the world’s most dangerous places,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, Islamic State released a video showing Foley being beheaded. The terrorists said that the American was being killed in retribution for U.S. airstrikes against them in Iraq, and that they would kill more U.S. journalists if the air strikes did not cease.
Foley disappeared in November of 2012, when he was covering fighting between government forces and rebels in northern Syria, where Islamic State also operates. He had previously been abducted while reporting on unrest in Libya. After being released from captivity in Libya, he publicly talked about his commitment to the importance of reporting the news in dangerous corners of the world.
A native of Rochester, New Hampshire, Foley graduated from UMass’s MFA Program for Poets and Writers.