The mother of slain journalist James Foley says the family was "delighted" to see the return of four Iranian-American citizens freed by Iran in a prisoner swap with the United States and is hopeful that the U.S. government will make American hostages more of a priority.

The 40-year-old Foley went to Syria in 2012. He was captured that November and was beheaded by Islamic State militants in a video released in August 2014.

Diane Foley in Rochester, New Hampshire, told The Associated Press on Wednesday the prisoner release gives her hope that what happened to her son and others in Syria won't be repeated.

The Islamic State group has acknowledged the death of the masked militant known as "Jihadi John," who appeared in James Foley's video.