Islamic State Releases Video on Diaspora Showing Beheading of U.S. Journalist James Foley


UPDATE: Al-Hayat Media Center and remaining Islamic State accounts on Diaspora accounts have been taken down.


Al-Hayat Media Center, the Islamic State's (IS) English media arm, released a video on August 19 showing the beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. The video, titled "A Message to America," was disseminated and promoted on Diaspora, a social media website, and also threatened to kill Steven Sotloff, another U.S. journalist held prisoner by IS since August 2013.


After showing clips of President Barack Obama speaking, the video shows Foley kneeling next to a masked militant speaking in a British accent in the desert. Foley reads a prepared speech blaming the U.S. for his killing, stating:

I call on my friends, family, and loved to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency criminality.

Eventually, the masked militant begins speaking, claiming that U.S. airstrikes "have caused casualties amongst Muslims," and eventually beheads Foley.

Al-Hayat's account on Diaspora began posting content on July 20, 2014 and has largely been the main platform from which the group has disseminated such material after it got kicked off of Twitter. IS's al-Hayat group then moved to Friendica, another social media platform, from which it was also kicked out immediately after.

Al-Hayat then moved to Diaspora and Quitter, a social media alternative to Twitter. While Quitter removed those pages shortly after they were made, Diaspora continued to house the group's pages.

Currently, IS has held over ten official accounts on Diaspora, with only three—including al-Hayat's page—currently active and the others being closed as of August 19, 2014.

Al-Hayat is IS's main distributor of Western-aimed propaganda in various languages, including English, French, and German. The group commonly releases videos of Western fighters calling on others to join jihad, magazines in different languages, Islamic readings, and other such outreach materials.

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