FBI, JIM, James Foley discussed on 1A with Joshua Johnson
A M U dot org before we continue our conversation and get to some more of your questions and thoughts you just heard us discussing James Foley yesterday. We had the honour of speaking to James's mother Diane here is part of our conversation. Diane Foley is the mother of James Foley. And the founder of the James w Foley legacy foundation. James Foley was a freelance journalist and humanitarian who was kidnapped and murdered by these lawmakers state back in two thousand fourteen. She joins us by phone from Boston where she is celebrating the birth of a new grandchild. Diane, congratulations and welcome to the program. Oh, thank you so much take us back to when you learned that your son had been kidnapped who did you talk to what did you say to them when you learned that he had been kidnapped? Well, we couldn't believe it me. He was kidnapped on Thanksgiving Day twenty twelve we had he banished. We had no idea where he was the only reason we knew he had been kidnapped was that a colleague had been waiting for him at the Turkish border, and he never showed up. And finally, his fixer was let loose and came was able to relate what had happened FBI within a couple of weeks came to visit us, and we were told that we shouldn't tell anybody about what had happened. So all Christmas the next thirty plus days, we didn't do anything. He didn't talk to anybody. Really? There was no trace of Jim. We had no idea who had kidnapped him and Waiheke wash. What were some of the other big? Hurdles, you ran up against in trying to fight. Find your son and get well, I guess the biggest hurdle. It was really no one's real John or mission to even be concerned or make sure or he was found brought home. We did have a FBI agent who knew nothing about situation. No Arabic had never been to the Middle East. Had no idea what he was doing. It was very frustrating and the FBI kept asking us for information. So we felt like we had no one to reach out to eventually. I started traveling to Washington, and I made appointments Senator Shaheen and Senator a awed at the time. From Mansur helped us connect with appropriate people at State Department and FBI to make appointments to go see them and talk to them. But again. And they could tell us nothing. And I could tell him was at the bottom of the furry long lists. He was just not a priority. Finally in the fall of twenty thirteen we received two sightings from other people who have been released from detention in northern Syria that they had heard Jim's name, and they thought they saw him and about a month after that we received an Email from the captors offering proof of life. And so that we would know they in fact had him now when the hijackers since you proof of life talk about that period, particularly whether you ever considered asking for negotiations or some kind of payment, I mean after you've been dealing with the federal government. I wonder if maybe you try to take things more on your own hands and. Just do whatever they want it. Well, once we knew Jim was alive, obviously, we will help and especially about a month later, the French were I Spanish came out in February of the next year twenty fourteen then the French, and then the Italian I mean, we were very helpful. They ask for an impossible ransom. Hundreds of millions of euro. And the FBI, you know, told me that just stalled them, don't worry. This is the beginning. And so we did that you know, we always reported back to FBI what they were saying, but FBI was not allowed to directly engage with the capture. So that fell to us totally as a family. So I'm sorry. We wait a minute. I I hate to interrupt you back up a second. You had to be the primary point of contact with the Islamic state. Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. Lutely serious. Was awful. Because I mean, it initially came to our oldest son, Michael. And so Michael would share with us, and then we would share them with the FBI and this other a security team, but we had to impact engage with you asked about us trying to consider getting a ransom ourselves or whatever we never considered it in early twenty fourteen. We are still trusting the government they seem to be. They always caring. It's not that they didn't act hearing. It's just that nothing ever progressed even with the release of the other hostages, it became obvious. Even went to France into Spain with my brother-in-law trying to talk to the governments and whatever. But it the our government was just obviously never really seriously engaged in terms of it goes to get them out. So it took us until oh this spring late spring of two. Two thousand fourteen we became very concerned and decided it was time to try to at least get some pledges for ransom. And then of course, two weeks before was killed. We're told threatened he would be killed. And I was in Paris at the time trying to get more leads than how and was a clue clueless. I was hopeful that maybe we would offer what we had accumulated. We had about a million dollars in pledges, and they at that point had decided that they would Jim was more valuable to be publicly murdered instead of they weren't interested in ransom at that point. About a couple of months after Jim was killed. I met with President Obama briefly. And he tried to tell me Jim was the highest priority. But I told them in with all due respect, he knew that wasn't true. When he agreed and apologized. I can only imagine when you after all of this when you met the president there must have been part of you. And maybe you were very charitable about it. But there must have been part of you that wanted to rip his head off for the way that you were treated with your swell. I was just I was just appalled as an American. If only we'd been told the truth that they could not do anything about Jim if we had known from the beginning that we were on our own that would have made a different Shosh. But instead we will let along that the government was doing everything possible and Jim was their highest priority. Which was never the case. It was never the case. If they had told you from the start we cannot help you what might you have done differently. Well, what there are security firms that we could have hired we could have sold their house and actually hired one of these experts security terms. Who do this all the time for corporations who have businessman who is taking captive somewhere in the world? I mean, we would have taken a very different tack. I, you know, wasted so much time going to Washington finally before I let you go. How are you doing as a mother? I'm sure you still miss James quite a bit. Oh, well, our grandson is named Braddock James he lives within us any challenges me every day to make sure that other families will not go through what we get. And that is why we advocate frost entice for Princeton student Wang, eleven cents family, so many other families. Jeff would key. You know, there are so many families that are our private hell told to be quiet about their horrible ordeal. That we seek to support and help. So we want to make. The return of our Americans who are unjustly detained or kidnapped a true national priority to bring them home. Diane Foley is the mother of James Foley in the founder of the James w fully legacy foundation. Diane, we really appreciate your time. Thanks for talking to us. I so appreciate yours..