The White House on Wednesday confirmed the authenticity of a video depicting an Islamic State militant beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff and vowed to bring the killers to justice.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for United States National Security Council, said in a statement that “The US intelligence community has analyzed the recently released video showing US citizen Steven Sotloff and has reached the judgment that it is authentic.”
Video footage surfaced to the web less than 24 hours earlier showing a masked man from the group formerly known as ISIS taking a knife to the neck of Sotloff, a 31-year-old freelancer who disappeared in Syria a little more than a year ago.
Tuesday’s video marks the second time in just as many weeks that an American journalist has been gruesomely murdered on camera by members of the Islamic State and, according to a statement read by Sotloff moments before his death, is a direct consequence of the US government’s ongoing military assault against the group — the likes of which have involved no fewer than 100 air strikes so far, according to US State Dept. accounts.