Journalist James Foley suffered horrifying torture at the hands of his ISIS captors before they killed him, including waterboarding, virtual starvation and being hung upside-down by his ankles.
Foley, 40, was killed in a graphic propaganda video released in August by the terrorist organization, which calls itself the Islamic State – but new details from his two years in captivity are still emerging.
Fellow captives have now spoken out about their time in prison with Foley, whom they referred to as a pillar of strength. They revealed that he received the most brutal treatment out of dozens of hostages because he was American.
Tortured: Journalist James Foley, pictured left reporting on the ground and right in his ISIS beheading video, was waterboarded and hung upside down during his two-year captivity
Foley, from Rochester, New Hampshire, was captured not far from the Syrian border with Turkey in 2012 by a small jihadist group which would later swear fealty to ISIS.
As the group gained strength, his treatment worsened, according to a lengthy account of his capture and captivity published by the New York Times.
As early as August 2013 – before ISIS caught the world’s attention with its huge land grab in Iraq – Foley would regularly be lashed to a metal bar by the ankles and left dangling from the ceiling for hours.
This element of his torture was revealed by Jejoen Bontinck, a 19-year-old Belgian who shared a cell with him.
He told the Times: ‘You could see the scars on his ankles. He told me how they had chained his feet to a bar and then hung the bar so that he was upside down from the ceiling.’
Grabbed by the border: Foley was seized by jihadists near the Syrian border with Turkey. The group was took him later swore fealty to ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State
Later, after Foley was handed over to a central ISIS prison in Syria, with dozens of other captives, the torture became more targeted and extreme.
Initially dozens of Western captives were held together, but ISIS began to release those whose governments would pay large ransoms for them.
Eventually only Britons and Americans – whose governments refuse to pay out – were left, and the regime grew harsher.