By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Kidnapped American journalist James Foley, who reportedly has been executed by Islamic militants, is a Northwestern University alum.
Foley disappeared in northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.
On Tuesday, the radical group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released a video that it claims shows Foley's beheading, according to multiple reports.
A Facebook page for Foley posted this statement on Tuesday afternoon: "We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers."
The four-minute video opens with a clip of President Obama authorizing U.S. air strikes in Iraq.
A title then says "a message to America," followed by a man they identify as James Foley.
The man reported to be Foley is executed moments later by a man in a black robe.
Foley is the oldest of five children. He reported from the Middle East for the past five years, according to his website.
He graduated with a master's degree from Medill in 2008.
In a statement to CBS 2, James' mother Diane said, ""We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect out privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim. "
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