Laurence Foley

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Laurence Foley
Born(1942-10-05)October 5, 1942
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedOctober 28, 2002(2002-10-28) (aged 60)
Amman, Jordan

Laurence Michael Foley, Sr. (October 5, 1942 – October 28, 2002) was an American diplomat who was assassinated outside his home in Amman, Jordan.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Foley became a Peace Corps volunteer in 1965, serving two years in India upon graduating from the University of Massachusetts. After earning a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at San Francisco State University in 1969, he served as a probation officer in Contra Costa County, California. He later worked for the Peace Corps, serving as Associate Director of the Peace Corps program in the Philippines from 1980 to 1985. He served as Director of Administration at the Rehabilitation Services of Northern California until joining the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1988. After working in Bolivia, Peru, and Zimbabwe, Foley became Supervisory Executive Officer of USAID/Jordan in 2000.[1][2]


On the morning of October 28, 2002, Foley was killed by gunshots from a 7 mm pistol as he walked to his car outside his Amman home.[3][4] On December 14, two men, Libyan Salem bin Suweid and Jordanian Yasser Freihat, were arrested and charged with killing Foley. According to the Jordanian government, the men were paid to kill Foley by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an Islamist militant leader, who at that time was the commander of the group later renamed al-Qaeda in Iraq.[5] Though the men confessed, they later claimed they were forced to by Jordanian authorities.[6]

In April 2004, the two men were sentenced to death for killing Foley.[6] Zarqawi was sentenced to death in absentia for his role in the assassination,[6] but was killed in a U.S. airstrike on June 7, 2006.[7] Foley's assassins were executed on March 11, 2006.[8] Another conspirator, Mohammed Ahmed Youssef al-Jaghbeer, was sentenced to death on July 13, 2009.[9]


  1. ^ Labott, Elise (December 14, 2002). "Foley remembered for 'compassion'". CNN.
  2. ^ "In memoriam: Diplomat and public servant Laurence Foley". San Francisco State University. October 31, 2002.
  3. ^ "US diplomat shot dead in Jordan". BBC News. October 28, 2002.
  4. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (October 29, 2002). "Threats and Responses: Attack on U.S. Diplomat; American Envoy Killed in Jordan". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Jordan: Al Qaeda killed U.S. diplomat". CNN. December 14, 2002.
  6. ^ a b c "Jordan militants sentenced to die". BBC News. April 6, 2004.
  7. ^ Burns, John F. (June 8, 2004). "U.S. Strike Hits Insurgent at Safehouse". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Jordan hangs US diplomat killers". BBC News. March 11, 2006.
  9. ^ "Jordan: Death Sentence in Killing of U.S. Diplomat". The New York Times. July 13, 2009.