Despite Steven Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff making a direct appeal to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-claimed caliph of ISIS last Thursday asking him not to kill her son Steven, 31, the Huffington Post has reported the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria posted a video of her son being beheaded on Tuesday and then posted it to the Internet.
“’My son is in your hands,” Shirley pleaded last week. “As a mother I ask Your Justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”
The New York Times reported it was the SITE Intelligence Group that keeps track of jihadists web postings who saw the alleged video. While Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman said the authenticity of the video cannot be confirmed immediately however the video will undergo analysis.
“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.
News of now the second American journalist being beheaded by ISIS comes two weeks after James Foley, 45, was beheaded with the executioner threatening that Sotloff would be next.
During the video on Tuesday entitled by ISIS “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff is seen in an orange jumpsuit before being beheaded by what appears to be the same man who killed Foley.
Known as “Jihadi John” whom authorities have identified as British, he told the camera, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”
The Daily Mail posted Sotloff’s final words:
A Second Message to America:
I am Steven Joel Sotloff. I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing before you. And now this is the time for my message:
Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is that I am paying the price of your interference with my life? Am I not an American citizen? We’ve spent billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and we’ve lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so what are the people’s interests in reigniting war?
From what little I know about foreign policy, I remember a time when you could not win an election without promising to bring our troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan and to close down Guantanamo. Here you are now, Obama, nearing the end of your term, and having achieved none of the above and deceivingly marching us the American people in the blazing fire.
The video that lasted under three minutes shows the beheading Sotloff and then threatening the life of David Haines who has been identified as a British citizen.
It was in 2013 when Sotloff was kidnapped while covering the ongoing civil war in Syria. The freelance journalist covered stories for many different sources including Foreign Policy and Time magazine.