Islamic State Militant Beheads U.S. Journalist Steven Sotloff in Video, Group Says

Supporters take part in a candle light vigil at the University of Central Florida, Sept. 3, 2014, in Orlando, Fla., to honor Steven Sotloff, a UCF former student and the second American journalist to be beheaded by the Islamic State group in two weeks.

John Raoux/AP

AA Font size + Print

Supporters take part in a candle light vigil at the University of Central Florida, Sept. 3, 2014, in Orlando, Fla., to honor Steven Sotloff, a UCF former student and the second American journalist to be beheaded by the Islamic State group in two weeks.

As they warned they would, Islamic State fighters beheaded American Steven Sotloff, says intel group. By Kevin Baron

This story has been updated.

American journalist Steven Sotloff has been executed and beheaded by the Islamic State group, according to a new video posted on Monday. 

The killing fulfills the Islamic State’s threat to President Barack Obama that Sotloff also would be killed as journalist Jim Foley was two weeks ago unless the U.S. ceased air strikes against them.

“I am Steven Joel Sotloff. I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing before you,” he says, according to a transcript posted by SITE Intelligence Group, which has posted a still photo and portions of a video showing Sotloff on his knees in an orange jumpsuit next to a masked Islamic State fighter. The video is cut short before Sotloff’s execution. 

“The United States, as you know, has dedicated significant time and resources to try and rescue Mr. Sotloff,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who sent the president’s thoughts and prayers to the Sotloff family in a short statement in the briefing room, and promised the U.S. would analyze the video closely.

According to SITE Intelligence group, in the new video the same executioner of Foley says, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State, because of your insistence on continuing your bombings and [unclear] on Mosul Dam, despite our serious warnings. You, Obama, have but to gain from your actions but another American citizen. So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

U.S. officials appeared surprised by the video’s Monday release. “If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Just like you, we’re trying to find out ground truths here,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby, declining to offer further details about it’s timing or authenticity.  

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.