"The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the horrific murder of journalist James Foley, an abominable crime that underscores the campaign of terror the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (now called Islamic State) continues to wage against the people of Iraq and Syria," quoted a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson as saying.

"The perpetrators of this and other such horrific crimes must be brought to justice," Ban stressed. UN Chief also extended his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Foley.

The chief executive officer of a Boston-based media company said James Foley's kidnappers last week threatened to kill him in response to US bombings in Iraq.

Foley was freelancing for GlobalPost when he disappeared in Syria. GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni told reporters yesterday that the threatening email sent to Foley's family was ‘full of rage’ but made no demands.

He says the kidnappers ignored pleas for mercy.

Balboni says the company spent millions on efforts to bring Foley home including hiring an international security firm.

A video released by the IS militants on Tuesday purported to show the beheading of Foley and contained threats to kill the other in retaliation against the recent US intervention in Iraq.

A masked fighter was shown beheading a man kneeling in an orange jumpsuit said to be Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist who disappeared in northwest Syria in 2012.

Foley was abducted in northern Syria in November 2012 and had not been heard from since.

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