World

Steven Sotloff Reportedly Beheaded In New ISIS Video

Two weeks after ISIS beheaded James Foley, the group has released a new video claiming to show the execution of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.

Steven Sotloff Reportedly Beheaded In New ISIS Video
Getty Images / Etienne de Malglaive

SITE Intelligence Group is reporting ISIS has released a new video showing the beheading of a second U.S. citizen — freelance journalist Steven Sotloff.

The White House has not yet confirmed the authenticity of the video, titled "A Second Message To America."

 

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY VIA CNN"It is something that will be analyzed very carefully by the U.S. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity."

Two weeks ago, ISIS militants executed American journalist James Foley. In that video, ISIS warned Sotloff would meet the same fate if the U.S. did not stop its airstrikes in Iraq.

SITE has transcribed the video. In it, Sotloff, reading from a statement, says he is "paying the price." The executor blames Obama's "arrogant foreign policy."

Some of the early reaction on Twitter questioned whether Sotloff and Foley were executed on the same day. The backgrounds of both videos are similar, though not identical.

Other reports suggest the executioners in both videos might be the same person. Both appear to be of similar height, have a southern British accent and are left-handed.

The video comes days after Sotloff’s mother had released this emotional plea to the leader of ISIS: “I’m sending this message to you Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. … As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over." 

Sotloff disappeared in northern Syria in August 2013. At the time he'd been covering the Middle East for outlets including Foreign Policy and Time.

World Affairs Journal, which had also worked with Sotloff, described the 31-year-old as "an honest and thoughtful journalist who strives to understand the story from local perspectives and report his findings straightforwardly. He is certainly courageous."

ISIS has also threatened to kill a British citizen identified as David Haines. The group is believed to be holding a number of foreign hostages, including at least two other Americans. 

‚Äč‚ÄčThis video includes images from Getty Images and FreeJamesFoley.org / Nicole Tung.