The family of James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State terror group, believes he may have volunteered to be killed to spare the lives of his fellow hostages.
Foley's brother Michael says he has no doubt that James would have sacrificed himself.
The Foley family was attempting to raise ransom money for the journalist's release, but had nowhere near the $130 million the terrorists had demanded.
While European nations have paid multi-million dollar ransoms for their kidnapped citizens, the United States does not make ransom payments.
The Islamic State group sent the Foley family an email days ahead of the killing, saying "we will not stop until we quench our thirst for your blood."
Despite the solemn tone of the email, Foley's father, John, said he thought the email signaled an opportunity to negotiate a ransom deal. The family had not heard from their son's captors in months. John Foley said he did not realize how "brutal" the Islamic State group is.
The family did not learn about a failed secret U.S. mission to rescue their son until President Barack Obama called them to offer his condolences.
The family says they were "comforted" by a telephone call they received from Pope Francis. The Foleys are Catholic.
Foley, a freelance journalist, was kidnapped in Syria in 2012. The Islamic State group has its headquarters in Syria, and that is where Foley is believed to have been beheaded.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Islamic State group is a terror threat "beyond anything we have seen." He describes the militants as better trained, armed, organized and financed than any other terrorist organization, including al-Qaida.
Britain's Home Secretary Teresa May says she is preparing a new law to counter British Muslim extremists. She says the threat to Britain from jihadists will continue for decades. The Islamic State militant who beheaded Foley spoke with a British accent and is thought to be a British citizen.