BOSTON (CBS) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the Islamic militant group that executed N.H. journalist James Foley the face of evil in the world and said they must be held accountable for "this heinous, vicious atrocity."
"The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil," Kerry said in a statement.
Kerry said that while he was a Massachusetts senator he got to know the Foley family when the journalist was taken captive in Libya and later released.
The 40-year-old Foley was kidnapped a second time while covering the conflict in Syria for a French news agency and Boston-based GlobalPost.
"The sheer unfairness and unlikely odds that this young journalist would again find himself in captivity in another conflict was almost unimaginable," Kerry said. "It is impossible to express how much we all wanted this latest horror to end with his family reunited, as it had been the first time."
Kerry praised Foley for his work in covering the conflict, saying he "went to the darkest of places to shine the light of truth."
The militant group Islamic State, also known as ISIL and ISIS, released a video Tuesday of Foley being beheaded. They called the execution retribution for U.S. airstrikes against them in Iraq.
Kerry called Foley "brave and bold," adding that "no masked coward can ever steal the legacy of this courageous American who lived out the meaning of the word journalism."
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