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Mother of murdered journalist: Hostages' return gives hope

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 1:00 AM
US journalist Jason Rezaian smiles next to his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. Rezaian was released from an Iran prison last Saturday.

UNITED STATES( AP)

The mother of slain journalist James Foley said yesterday that the family was "delighted" to see the return of four Iranian-American citizens freed by Iran in a prisoner swap with the United States and is hopeful that the US government will make hostages more of a priority.

Foley, 40, went to Syria in 2012. He was captured that November and was beheaded by Islamic State militants in a video released in August 2014.

Diane Foley, of Rochester, told The Associated Press yesterday that the prisoner release gives her hope that what happened to her son and others in Syria won't be repeated.

"We Americans can do

better, and God willing, we will ... protect our citizens and help them when such a situation happens," she said.

The Islamic State group has acknowledged the death of the masked militant known as "Jihadi John," who appeared in videos showing the beheadings of James Foley, US journalist Steven Sotloff, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

"ISIS is definitely a threat, and that's why we need to be strong in terms of protecting our own and one another, and have coalitions for peace with our allies, as well as coalitions for war, that we need to be strong together against these threats," Diane Foley said.