ISIS Militants Beheads Another U.S Reporter Steven Sotloff in Gruesome Video


The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has beheaded Steven J. Sotloff, the second American executed by the Islamic militant group, and posted a video of it on the Internet, the SITE Intelligence Group, a research organization that tracks jihadist web postings, said Tuesday. Mr. Sotloff’s family issued a statement saying it believed he had been killed.

The execution of Mr. Sotloff, 31, came despite pleas from his mother aimed directly at ISIS’s top leader seeking mercy for her son, a freelance journalist who was captured in northern Syria a year ago.

Word of Mr. Sotloff’s beheading came two weeks after James Foley, 40, another American journalist, was beheaded by ISIS, which warned that Mr. Sotloff would be the next to die.

The videotaped beheadings and threats by ISIS have helped rocket the group’s ascendance into a top crisis for the Obama administration and its Western allies.

Mr. Sotloff’s family members issued a statement via a spokesman, Barak Barfi, that suggested they believed the video was authentic: “The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time.”

Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said he could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video showing Mr. Sotloff’s killing. “It is something that will be analyzed very carefully by the U.S. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity,” he told reporters in Washington.

Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said that American intelligence agencies would “work as quickly as possible” to determine whether the video was authentic. She said the United States would be “sickened” by confirmation of Mr. Sotloff’s beheading.

In the video, Mr. Sotloff describes himself as “paying the price” for the Obama administration’s decision to strike ISIS targets in Iraq. The same masked fighter with British-accented English who appeared in the video of Mr. Foley’s beheading also appears beside Mr. Sotloff, asserting, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”\steven sotloff

The SITE group also said ISIS was threatening a third captive, a Briton it identified as David Cawthorne Haines, as the next beheading victim.

At least two other Americans are believed to be held by ISIS.

Mr. Sotloff was a Florida native who wrote for Time magazine and other publications, and who had reported on the convulsions of the Middle East for the past few years. His capture by ISIS was largely kept a secret for months at the request of his family until he was seen in the execution video of Mr. Foley two weeks ago.

It was unclear from the video of Mr. Sotloff where and when it was recorded. Some Western intelligence officials have said that they believe Mr. Sotloff was executed the same day as Mr. Foley, and that the propagandists at ISIS decided to space out the publicity of each one.

But the video reported by SITE on Tuesday showed Mr. Sotloff with a small beard and some hair on his head — in contrast to the Aug. 19 video showing Mr. Foley’s death, in which Mr. Sotloff was nearly bald and relatively clean shaven. This indicated that the videos were probably made at different times.

Last Thursday Mr. Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, released an emotional video appeal to his captors, asking the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Muslim world, to grant amnesty to her son.

“I ask you to use your authority to spare his life,” Ms. Sotloff implored.


letters R1C





EMAIL: [email protected]


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *