The SITE Intel Group said on Twitter that ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) not only executed American journalist Steven Sotloff but has also threatened to kill British journalist David Cawthorne Haines. If the terrorist group kills Haines, it would be the third execution of a Westerner since the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. Last week, Sotloff’s mother sent a video plea to ISIS on behalf of her son.
Sotloff himself speaks in the video that was released today, saying that he was “paying the price” for Washington’s decision to keep hitting ISIS targets in Iraq, reports The New York Times. The executioner appears to be the same in both Sotloff’s and fellow American journalist James Foley’s killings. He states these chilling words: “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”
It’s unclear where or when the video of Sotloff’s beheading was shot. Some intelligence officials said they think he was killed the same day as Foley and that the terrorist group decided to release the videos nearly two weeks apart to space out the publicity of each killing.
U.S. officials say “a few” U.S. citizens and that fewer than ten Westerners are still imprisoned by ISIS. Some reports have put the number of Americans being held by ISIS at two or more. The beheading now of two U.S. citizens has further ratcheted up the pressure on the Obama administration to deal with the threat from ISIS. White House officials said they are analyzing the video posted today to determine whether it is authentic.
It’s been less than two weeks since ISIS executed American journalist James Foley, and the organization has made good on its threat to kill another journalist it had in custody as well. ISIS said it would behead Steven Sotloff also if the U.S. did not halt airstrikes on it in Iraq.The beheading is the second in less than two weeks.
The White House is not immediately saying that the video released by ISIS does definitely show Sotloff’s beheading. A spokesperson said they could not yet determine whether the video is authentic. ISIS released the second video, called “A Second Message to America,” today. In the video, Sotloff is shown wearing an orange jumpsuit before being beheaded by a member of ISIS.
Militants captured the journalist a little over a year ago after he crossed into Syria. He had been a freelance journalist working for Time and Foreign Policy.
ISIS has released a video it claims shows the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. That’s according to a global intelligence group that is monitoring terrorism. Sotloff is the other journalist who appeared in the terrorist organization’s last video. That video came last month and showed Sotloff with fellow American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded previously.