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All eyes on UK response after IS execution of American journalist

An online video portraying the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by a member of the Islamic State has drawn condemnation from around the world. The perpetrator spoke with a distinctly English accent - putting the spotlight on the UK's response.

UNITED KINGDOM: The American journalist James Foley had reported from across the Middle East - he spoke of the extreme violence there, but also tried to find out who the people there really were. In the words of his mother Diane, he gave his life trying to expose the suffering of the people of Syria.

In the UK, the British Prime Minister returned to Downing Street from holiday early to deal with what appears to be a brutal beheading by a British citizen. Some said this strengthens the argument for a tough response from the UK government to Islamist militants.

Dwayne Menezea, a director at the Human Security Centre, said: "Britain needs to consider air strikes, it needs to consider intelligence missions, surveillance operations, Britain needs to act. But the number one reason Britain needs to act is because the person who executed James Foley and is perceived to be a British citizen. This is frightful for this country."

What the UK government does at home will also be closely watched - calls for the UK government to do more to tackle the radicalisation of young British Muslims are only likely to increase with the latest apparent killing seemingly showing the active role IS recruits from the UK play in the violence and atrocities being carried out in Iraq and Syria.

As foreign fighters join IS in unprecedented numbers. some experts said Britain's Muslim community needs to speak out more against it. Erin Saltman, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, said: "What we have is a very vocal minority and a silent majority... if we could shift that majority to be more vocal, we could actually shift that tide a little."

But caution on taking extensive military action has also been voiced. "When Western powers - without international agreements and agreements from other Middle Eastern countries or the similar reflected aid from other middle eastern countries - goes forward and put forth really aggressive (military) proposals, this does play directly into the Islamic State's rhetoric."

Thus, any actions taken will need to tread a fine line to try to ensure threats of further terrorist attacks, either abroad or here in the UK, are not exacerbated. 

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