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ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The parents of slain journalist James Foley said they regarded an email they received from his captors last week as a hopeful sign they could negotiate with the Islamic militants.

Speaking on NBC's "Today," John and Diane Foley from Rochester, New Hampshire, said they had last heard from the captors via several emails in December.

John Foley said he was excited to see the latest email, even though it threatened execution, because he hoped they would be willing to negotiate.

"I underestimated that point," John Foley said of the threat. "I did not realize how brutal they were."

Foley, 40, was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. His Islamic State captors had demanded $132.5 million from his parents and political concessions from Washington. Authorities say neither obliged.

The militants revealed Foley's death in a video released Tuesday. The extremists said they killed him in retaliation U.S. airstrikes targeting Islamic State positions in northern Iraq.

Read more at the Associated Press

Here's the email the Foley family received on Aug. 12, 2014:?

HOW LONG WILL THE SHEEP FOLLOW THE BLIND SHEPPARD?

A message to the American government and their sheep like citizens:

We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so!

As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, THEY DARED TO ENTER THE LION’S DEN AND WHERE EATEN!

You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted,We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.

You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force, a language you were given in “Arabic translation” when you attempted to occupy the land of Iraq!Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and “proxy armies”, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!

Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTILL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD.

You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will NOT spare yours!

You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!

The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley!

He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!