James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by Islamic State terrorists, was reportedly tortured using waterboarding during his captivity.

James Foley Waterboarded

Foley was among four hostages that the Islamic State was holding in the Syrian city of Raqqah who were waterboarded with frequency soon after they were taken captive by the militant group, according to the Washington Post. It is theorized that the militants modeled the torture on that used by the CIA on terrorist suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on American soil.

“They knew exactly how it was done,” a source told the Post. Another person with knowledge of the Westerners captivity corroborated the first source, admitting, “Yes, that is part of the information that bubbled up, and Jim was subject to it. I believe he suffered a lot of physical abuse.”

The Washington Post sources are not the first to allege that Foley suffered the brunt of the physical torture and torment. French journalist Nicolas Henin previously stated that Foley was forced to endure greater abuse not only because he was an American, but because they determined that his brother serves in the U.S. Air Force via pictures found on his computer after he was kidnapped.

Neither the FBI nor the CIA, which was responsible for the United State’s usage of “enhanced interrogation” – dubbed torture by President Barack Obama earlier this year – has commented on the suggestion that the Islamic State is intentionally mimicking the practice to inflict pain on Americans.

One anonymous official, however, has decried there being any correlation between the United State’s interrogation techniques and that of the Islamic State.

“ISIL is a group that routinely crucifies and beheads people,” the official told the Post. “To suggest that there is any correlation between ISIL’s brutality and past U.S. actions is ridiculous and feeds into their twisted propaganda.”

Waterboarding is the tortuous interrogation method in which a person is strapped down with their face covered with a cloth as someone pours cold water over their nose and mouth, which is meant to give the sensation of drowning.

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