Report: James Foley, at Least 3 Other Hostages Tortured by ISIS

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 09:42 PM

By Cathy Burke

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James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by the Islamic State, and at least three other hostages were tortured with techniques modeled after those used by the CIA after 9/11, including waterboarding, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Waterboarding involves pouring cold water over a cloth covering a victim's face, triggering a sensation of drowning.

"The wet cloth creates a barrier through which it is difficult — or in some cases not possible — to breathe," said a May 2005 Justice Department memo on the CIA's use of the technique, according to The Post.

"They knew exactly how it was done," one source told The Post, adding the captives, including Foley, were held in Raqqah, Syria.

Foley was beheaded last week in apparent retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, and the Islamic State militants also threatened to kill American journalist Steven Sotloff. 

Two other Americans are also held by the group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), The Post reported.

The Post quoted a second source confirming Foley was tortured, including by waterboarding.

"Yes, that is part of the information that bubbled up, and Jim was subject to it," the second source told The Post. "I believe he suffered a lot of physical abuse."

Foley’s mother, Diane, told the newspaper she'd not previously been told her son had been waterboarded by ISIS, also known as ISIL.

"ISIL is a group that routinely crucifies and beheads people," a U.S. official told the newspaper. "To suggest that there is any correlation between ISIL’s brutality and past U.S. actions is ridiculous and feeds into their twisted propaganda."

Three CIA detainees — Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaida, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — were waterboarded while held in secret CIA prisons. 

Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded 183 times, according to a Justice Department memo. 

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