Al Jazeera America has retracted an article suggesting American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff weren't actually beheaded.
Foley and Sotloff were both beheaded by Islamic State terrorists within the past month, and video of their execution was published on social media. U.S. intelligence sources confirmed both videos were authentic within days of their release.
A link to the original Al Jazeera article now only displays an error message, but according to Al Arabiya, the article ridiculed the execution videos, saying they used "unconvincing" "Hollywood" casting, and might be used to justify western intervention in Syria.
The article also said the killer did not have "the features of common jihadist figures, but he was rather similar to a Hollywood actor.”
An Al Jazeera article apologizing for the story reads:
Al Jazeera's managing director, Yasser Abu Hilalah, said in a statement on Saturday that the article was inaccurate.
“In respect to families of the victims and as we share their grief, Al Jazeera Arabic's website decided to retract an inaccurate article that questioned the legitimacy of Foley and Sotloff's beheading videos after a theory surfaced on a number of American social media sites claiming they were produced as a pretext ahead of a US invasion of Syria.
"We want to take this as an opportunity to reiterate Al Jazeera previous position in condemning the kidnapping of the two journalists and condemning their killing as a heinous crime.
"We would like to also renew our call for the release of all kidnapped journalists, who are only carrying out their professional duty in seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."
"We, in Al Jazeera, would like to emphasise our policy of supporting the freedom of journalists and to protect them from any harm anywhere around the world," Hilalah's statement concluded.