1) You can after saving images to a Container field save a Calculated Container field as a Thumbnail in latest version of FileMaker. I strongly recommend you to update to FileMaker 15.
2) In FileMaker 15 you can use script step Insert from URL to import your images to a Container field that is storing your images inside your database.
Did this capability begin with FM15, or was it in any of the earlier versions? Updating to the most recent version isn't likely in the cards for me, but finding an earlier version is a possibility.
From FileMaker 12 and forward