Islamic State militants threatened slain American journalist James Foley and other Western captives with execution, waterboarding and starvation ahead of their beheadings, according to a media report.
A new report from The New York Times said that Foley had been singled out for particularly harsh treatment by the dreaded group that calls itself the Islamic State.
According to the Times -- Foley was subject to beatings, waterboarding and "mock executions." The paper says it compiled the information by interviewing five former hostages, local witnesses, relatives and colleagues of the detainees, among others.
Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist, was abducted in 2012. He was the first Western hostage to be beheaded by ISIS on camera.
After Foley, the militant group beheaded three other Western hostages -- Steven Sotloff, an American journalist who wrote for Time magazine; David Haines, a British aid worker; and Alan Henning, a British taxi driver who traveled to Syria to deliver food and water to those affected by the country's Civil War.
American aid worker in Syria, Abdul Rahman Kassig, who served in the US Army and was deployed to Iraq, was identified by IS as their next captive in line to be killed.
British photojournalist John Cantlie is also being held by IS. He has narrated a series of apparently scripted propaganda videos for the Sunni militant group.
Cantlie is one of three remaining Western hostages according to the Times, along with Kassig and a woman who has not been named.
Most of the hostages who were released came from countries which the Times says has a history of paying ransoms.
A report from the Times in July alleged that by paying ransoms, European countries have influenced terror groups, including IS, to target people for kidnapping.
IS is an al-Qaeda splinter group and it has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the militant group, has declared himself as Caliph renamed the ISIS as Islamic State. Since August, IS has filmed and posted online the deaths of four Western hostages.
Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from the IS, chiding it for its lack of teamwork in its aggressive and brutal expansion.