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According to reports, ISIL fighters waterboarded their Western hostages during the early part of their captivities, including journalist James Foley, who was executed last week. From The Washington Post:

James Foley was among the four who were waterboarded several times by Islamic State militants who appeared to model the technique on the CIA’s use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

ISIL's rationale for executing Foley was that it constituted a response to American airstrikes against ISIL positions in Iraq. As the United States contemplates further action, including airstrikes against ISIL installations in Syria, the dark irony of having American hostages tortured by the same methods used by the CIA against Islamic terror suspects is difficult to absorb on emotional grounds as well as logical ones.  

The fate of the remaining captives remain unknown, however, as we noted on Wednesday, the mother of journalist Steven Sotloff made a video in which she appealed directly to the head of ISIL to release her son. Steven Sotloff has been held since last August.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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