A new video has been released, which purportedly shows the beheading of the second journalist, US reporter Steven Sotloff, by the Islamic State group, ISIS. The film, which has thus far not been confirmed to be legitimate by the Obama administration, follows on from the previous video released which shows the killing of fellow US journalist James Foley by a member of IS. During the original video released of the Foley execution a member of IS promised that Sotloff would be next.
David Cameron has been asked for his opinion and has been quoted as saying that the beheading was “absolutely disgusting, despicable act”, adding that he would be making a statement “later”. Whilst the Obama administration is working towards confirming the validity of the video, the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, stated “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family.” Cameron has also suggested that we will face a “generational” struggle against the extremist ideology of IS and that he believes they are more powerful than al Qaida.
The video also appears to show the same masked jihadi, who killed Foley last month, whilst other members of the militant group watched and threatened that the British David Cawthorne Haines would be next. During the video Sotloff is forced to read a “message to America” where the victim states directly to President Obama “I am paying the price of your interference with my life.” The transcript also goes on to state that “You’ve spent billions of pounds US taxpayers’ dollars and we have lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so where is the people’s interest in reigniting this war?” The video also has the, as yet, unnamed killer speaking again to America stating that this latest killing is the result of “arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State” and that “Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.” The militant finishes his message by warning other governments that they should not join the “evil alliance of America against the Islamic State”. The full statement is below for those who wish to read it.
The family of Sotloff, mainly focusing on the mother, gave a heartfelt plea to IS to spare her sons life. Shirley Sotloff, who used deferential language to the self-appointed caliph of the Islamic State, pleaded “I ask you please to release my child. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.” She was also quoted as saying “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammad, who protected People of the Book.” This desperate plea from the mother appears to have fallen upon deaf ears with no response from the caliph and now this.
Mrs. Sotloff has stated following the release of this video that “The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time.”
At least two other unnamed American’s are still being held along with David Cawthorne Haines.