News Column

Steven Sotloff Beheading Video Claimed by Islamic State

September 2, 2014

UPI International Top News

The Islamic State terrorist group has allegedly beheaded Steven Sotloff, the second journalist who appeared in the video showing the execution of James Foley, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

The video, entitled "A Second Message to America," appears very similar to the one in which Foley was beheaded. Sotloff is shown kneeling, dressed in an orange prison suit, and speaks to the camera.

"You know who I am by now, and you know why I am here," Sotloff, 31, said.

As in first video, a man dressed in black and wearing a mask speaks with a British accent.

"Obama, I am back," he said, before drawing the knife across Sotloff's throat.

After the video fades to black, another hostage appears in the frame.

"Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike yours," the masked man said. "Obama, back off and just leave us alone."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest interrupted his daily press briefing as the news broke, and he said the administration would work to confirm the authenticity of the video.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff's family," he added.

Sotloff was kidnapped in 2013 while reporting in Syria. He had freelanced with Time magazine and Foreign Policy.

Sotloff's mother, Shirley Sotloff, put out a message last week pleading with IS to spare her son.

"My son Steven is in your hands," she said in a video message to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that aired on Al Arabiya news station. "As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over," she pleads.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.


Original headline: teven Sotloff apparently beheaded in Islamic State video

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