The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the death of American journalist James Foley, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.
At a news conference today, Holder had harsh words for those who perpetrated the killing, and high praise for Foley.
“He was a journalist and he was a symbol of what’s right about the United States,” Holder said.
Foley was beheaded by the Islamist militant group Islamic State, an act shown in a video released on Tuesday in which the group called for the United States to end its airstrikes in Iraq. Obama responded that the United States would be relentless in fighting the organization despite the killing.
The identity of Foley's killer, whose face was covered in the video, is unknown.
However, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that it looked increasingly like a British citizen.
The London-based Times and Guardian newspapers cited what they said were sources close to hostages freed by IS as saying the wanted man may be one of a group of British jihadists working as guards. One former hostage recognized the man’s voice as that of a guard known as John, the Times said.
In another development, London’s Metropolitan Police said late yesterday it charged 19-year-old Brustchom Ziamani from Camberwell in the south of the city with “engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.”
Ziamani appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today. Speaking only to confirm his name, and wearing a Call of Duty T- shirt, he was ordered to appear at London’s Central Criminal Court Sept. 12. He remains in custody.
The Met also issued a reminder that “viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material” such as the video of Foley’s killing could breach U.K. terror laws.
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