Late yesterday news broke that the terrorist group ISIS beheaded American photojournalist James Wright Foley and issued a challenge directly to President Obama. ISIS has also threatened to execute American journalist Steven Sotloff, who is still in their custody.
When news broke last night, President Obama was on his way back to Martha's Vineyard. In a statement this morning, the Obama administration has said that "if" Foley was killed then they are "appalled." More from the Washington Examiner:
“If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available,” National Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.We still have not heard directly from President Obama about the gruesome, savage murder of Foley. Foley's family has asked for privacy during this difficult time.
UPDATE: The White House knew ISIS was threatening to execute Foley. From ABC News:
ISIS had recently threatened to kill U.S. journalist James Foley to avenge airstrikes the United States has conducted in Iraq, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
The White House had been aware of the threat prior to the release of a video Tuesday night that appears to show the beheading of Foley and warns that militants will carry out a similar act against U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, who went missing in August, the official said.