The Coldest Challenge

ISIS-is-hereby baldilocks

As we watch the nine-day-old tragic, comedic tragedy in Ferguson, MO, it’s easy to get caught up in the sequential information leakage that often happens with these circuses. It’s almost as if we become drunk on them. But, sometimes, another event will elbow its way into the front of the queue and the magnitude of it will, in contrast, make us feel dead, cold sober.

James Foley, an American journalist who went missing in Syria more than a year ago, has reportedly been killed by the Islamic State, a militant group formerly known as ISIS. A YouTube video and photos purportedly of Foley emerged on Tuesday. The video — entitled “A Message to #America (from the #IslamicState)” — identified a man on his knees as “James Wright Foley,” and showed his beheading.

“This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country,” an Islamic State militant says in the video, which has since been removed by YouTube. “As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State. You have plotted against us and have gone far out of your way to find reasons to interfere in our affairs. Today, your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq, your strikes have caused casualties among Muslims.”

The video also shows another man on his knees who is identified as American journalist Steven Sotloff. The Islamic State member says that Sotloff’s future “depends” on President Obama’s “next decision.” Sotloff, a freelance journalist, went missing in Syria in August 2013.

It is pertinent to note that ISIS appears to have a presence in the Ferguson chaos and are urging the protesters to embrace Islam.  Such a polite invitation is mandatory before a more, shall we say, impolite one.

Guard your soul…and your neck.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,baldilocks was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!