Mother of journalist killed by IS Beatles says 'governments must do better' to help hostages

Diane Foley has spoken openly of the frustration and abandonment she felt as the mother of an American held hostage abroad. Credit: AP

British national El Shafee Elsheikh has been found guilty for his role in a notorious Islamic State group, nicknamed the Beatles due to their British accents. The cell took roughly two dozen Westerners captive, resulting in the deaths of four Americans.

ITV News spoke to the mother of James Foley, an American journalist killed by the group.

Diane Foley is a woman of great faith. It is a faith that has been tested more than most.

In court listening to the dreadful evidence surrounding her son James’s captivity and death she would regularly read from scriptures to find strength as she listened to evidence from those who had been held with her son during his captivity.

'ISIS fighters were particular punishing of the British and American hostages'

In the years since James’s loss she has worked to understand what he went through and has met with many of those who were held with him.

Knowing them has brought her comfort.

But there has also been huge frustration.

She speaks openly of the frustration and abandonment she felt as the mother of an American held hostage abroad.

'Jim spent his last days with some very good people... that was a blessing'

As European hostages were released, no doubt for high ransoms, she, like the British families, faced the reality of government policy to never to pay for release.

She is scathing about the commitment, or lack of it, within the Obama administration to bring her son and others home.

'Our governments must do better... use the best of our Scotland Yard and FBI to bring our people home'

She set up the James Foley Foundation in her son’s honour and in the hope of helping other families with loved ones detained abroad.

The Foundation seeks to advocate for those Americans held hostage in foreign lands and helps to promote the values of freedom, press freedom and human rights.

She is driven by a belief that what she does now represents James’s values and is what he would wish her to do.