An American freelance journalist James “Jim” Foley has been missing in Syria since Thanksgiving day, when he was reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
The New Hampshire journalist was imprisoned two years ago for 44 days in Libya and his family have not heard a word from him since, according to the Boston Herald.
Up until now, Foley’s family have remained quiet on the abduction in hope that their silence would spur negotiations with his captors. However, weeks after little progress his family have decided to speak up. Yesterday his mother and brother took their plight to national television in a desperate bid for help.
Foley, 39, was abducted once before in 2011 with three other journalists and held captive for over month by forces loyal to the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said on the “Today” Show. “He’s very interested in people. A really good listener, and really cares, particularly about the vulnerable ones, the children in the midst of the war, and the civilians in the midst of it all.”
“He really wants to give voice to people in conflict.”
Diane Foley said she last spoke with her son when he called a few days before he was kidnapped. Her 104-year-old aunt had died and her son knew “what a loss that was for me.”
“He called just to say he was sorry and that he would be home soon and was thinking of me,” she explained.
His mother, however insists that this time the abduction is different.
“He was sighted then. We have not even seen him,” she said. “No one has witnessed him since he was kidnapped. It’s very different that way. We don’t know who is holding him. We really need to hear from Jim.”
Foley’s brother, Michael, said on “Today” that the family don’t have a lot of information regarding his abduction.
“There were some eyewitness accounts. They were taken by some armed gunmen,” Michael Foley said.
“After 40 days without information, we felt it was important to make people aware and remind them that Jim’s an objective journalist. He’s an innocent journalist who was doing his job, and to appeal to the people that are holding him, to release him safely, release him unharmed.”
Foley is a freelance correspondent for the Boston based, GlobalPost.
GlobalPost CEO, Phil Balboni said: “We are working on this everyday, seven days a week,” according to the Boston Herald.
“We’ve deployed considerable resources to try to bring Jim back safely. We care deeply about Jim,” he said.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?