Guardian Comment: With information comes hope

James Foley.
James Foley.

As a journalist, it is tough to reconcile the realities of the horrific death of James Foley.

The US reporter paid the ultimate price in his determination to expose the true horrific story of what is happening in Syria, taking the risks few want to make and ultimately being captured and used as a publicity tool for an organisation spreading terror in the most cruel and inhumane way.

But there is no doubt that what has happened to James has mobilised the US and UK to appreciate the stark reality of the ongoing horrors – and to act in tracking down suspected British nationals who have headed over there.

Meanwhile, as the political battles over action are played in public, work is ongoing behind the scenes to identify the Islamic State militant with a very British accent caught on camera murdering James.

At Lancaster University, language and linguistics expert Dr Claire Hardaker has been hard at work examining the film and emails sent from the militants to James’ family.

Her insights are remarkable, she is able to pinpoint the exact part of London the man came from through minute details of his accent and through written language used, can identify education and influences.

So if that is what Claire is able to determine alone, the combined resources of the UK and US governments must find some answers soon and break down the organisation feeding these extreme terror groups.

For James and his family and for all those with loved ones held in captivity, let’s hope action is taken and very quickly.