ICYMI – Diane Foley, Mother of Slain Journalist James Foley, & Shaheen Discuss Their Efforts to Secure a U.S. Trial for ISIS Terrorists With Union Leader

October 13, 2020

(Manchester, NH) – Last week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Diane Foley, the mother of slain American journalist and Granite Stater James Foley, in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader to discuss the transfer of ISIS terrorists and “British Beatles” members El Shafee el-Sheikh and Alexanda Kotey to the United States to stand trial for the torture and murder of her son, as well as Americans Peter Kassig, Steven Sotloff and Kayla Mueller. Working closely with the families of the victims, Shaheen led efforts to ensure these terrorists were brought to trial in the United States.

During the interview, Shaheen described the news as a huge step forward and hailed the Foley family’s vigorous advocacy over the years to make it a reality. Foley highlighted Shaheen as the “voice in government” whose efforts helped to facilitate a breakthrough between the Trump administration and the British government and led to the extradition of the two men to face justice in the United States. Foley also expressed hope for the growth of bipartisan support for legislation to rescue Americans captured by ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

Read the full story on Shaheen and Foley’s joint interview with the Union Leader’s Kevin Landrigan here, or below.

Detainee reform would be fitting legacy, James Foley's mom says


ROCHESTER — Diane Foley, the mother of slain photographer James Foley, said she’s optimistic bipartisan support is building for legislation to rescue other Americans detained by ISIS and other terrorist organizations around the globe.

Foley spoke soon after listening to the detention hearing and arraignment Friday of El Shafee el-Sheikh and Alexanda Kotey, the two suspected members of the “Beatles” ISIS wing accused in the torture and murder of her son and three other American hostages in 2014.

She admitted it was “deflating” to learn the case would be continued until next Jan. 15 to give their lawyers time to prepare for trial.

She looks forward one day to be able to give an impact statement at the trial’s conclusion.

“I would really very much like to give a victim witness statement and I am hopeful that will happen because the authorities have been very accommodating,” Foley said.

“You know I think it’s important that both men begin to understand the pain and suffering they have inflicted. When you are caught up in the jihadist movement, it is hard to be conscious of what you have been doing.”

“God willing, perhaps they can make some amends and realize the consequences of their actions.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said she had only dreamed this day would come when in 2018 she visited the camp where hundreds of suspected ISIS terrorists were held along the Syrian border.

“It is a huge step forward and speaks to the advocacy of you, Diane, and your family that has brought us to this breakthrough,” Shaheen said.

Foley said Shaheen was the “voice in government” that the movement, led by the four families, needed to help convince the Trump administration to take the death penalty off the table so the British government would agree to release these prisoners to face trial in the U.S.