FBI Director James Comey says Islamic State extremists who executed journalist James Foley are "savages" and that the agency is helping investigate the killing.
Comey spoke about the execution Wednesday on a visit to the FBI field office in Denver.
Comey says the FBI has been investigating American hostages in Syria for two years. He says "these savages have turned that into a homicide investigation."
Comey's comments come a day after the militants released a video showing the beheading of Foley and threatened to kill a second hostage, Steven Sotloff, if U.S. airstrikes against the militants in Iraq continued.
Comey says the FBI hasn't concluded when Foley was killed. The director says websites have largely been sensitive about spreading the video and are generally avoiding it.