A new video has been posted on the internet purported to show Islamic State militants beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff.
The global terror intelligence firm SITE first reported the release of the 2-minute video, titled “A Second Message to America,” in which Sotloff, a 31-year-old freelance journalist, speaks to the camera before a cloaked Islamic State fighter decapitates him.
“I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing,” Sotloff said. “Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?”
The video then cuts to the masked militant warning that as long as U.S. missiles “continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.” He also threatens the life of British captive David Cawthorne Haines.
“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” a masked militant says in the latest video before killing Sotloff. Another captured civilian — David Cawthorne Haines of the UK — will be the next murdered unless “this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State” ends, militants warn in the clip.
The White House could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video, but press secretary Joshua Earnest said during a briefing on Tuesday that the administration’s “thoughts and prayers” are with Sotloff’s family.
Sotloff, 31, was kidnapped near Aleppo, Syria in August 2013. Upon release of the Foley video last month, the Islamic State demanded that United States President Barack Obama cease attacks on the group, or else Sotloff could be the next to be killed.
Last week, Sotloff’s mother posted a minute-and-a-half-long video plea asking Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to release her son.
Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops…