News

ISIS releases beheading video of American Steven Sotloff

ISIS releases beheading video of American Steven Sotloff

A masked Islamic State militant speaks next to a man purported to be U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website. Photo: Reuters/Social Media Website via REUTERS TV

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Islamic State released a video purporting to show the beheading of American hostage Steven Sotloff, a monitoring service said on Tuesday, as the militant group raised the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.

A masked figure in the video also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off “this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State”, the SITE monitoring service said.

The purported executioner appeared to be the same British-accented man who appeared in an Aug. 19 video showing the killing of American journalist James Foley, and it showed a similar desert setting. In both videos, the captives wore orange jumpsuits.

“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 … on Mosul Dam, despite our serious warnings,” the man said.

“So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

In the video, Sotloff describes himself a “paying the price” for the U.S. intervention in Iraq with his life.

APPEAL

Sotloff, a freelance journalist, was kidnapped in Syria in August 2013. Sotloff’s mother Shirley appealed on Aug. 27 in a videotaped message to Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for her son’s release.

In the video it released last month, Islamic State said Foley’s death was in retaliation for U.S. air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.

The United States resumed air strikes in Iraq in August for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.

The raids followed major gains by Islamic State, which has declared an Islamic Caliphate in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq.

In Washington, the White House said it could not immediately confirm that Islamic State had released a video of Sotloff’s beheading.

State Dept spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. intelligence services would “work as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity.”

“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.”

A source familiar with the matter said that while U.S. officials have yet to formally confirm the validity of the video, it appeared to be authentic.

The United States is taking the Islamic State militants far more seriously now than it did six months ago, when Obama told the New Yorker magazine that they were the “JV team,” which is short for “junior varsity” and means they are not the best players on the field.

On Aug. 24 al Qaeda-linked militants from the Nusra Front armed group in Syria freed an American writer, Peter Theo Curtis, who had been missing since 2012 following what officials said were efforts by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar to win his release.

(Reporting by William Maclean, Noah Browning and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Giles Elgood)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

PHOTOS: Super Bowl Media Day 2015

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman during media day for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots hit the floor for the NFL Super Bowl XLIX media day.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to get fined

23-overlay5

The Seattle Seahawks running back has a goal for Media Day.

in National

Blizzard hits the northeast, New York spared its brunt

A man walks out of an ocean front house covered in ice during a winter blizzard in Marshfield, Massachusetts January 27, 2015.

As New York and New Jersey lifted travel bans, Massachusetts braces for more snow.

in National, World

World leaders join last survivors in recalling Auschwitz

Members of Polish Scouting Association from Canada and U.K. place a lit candle at block 15 in the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim January 26, 2015.

World leaders joined Auschwitz survivors at the site of the former Nazi death camp to mark 70 years since its liberation by Soviet troops.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch holds an “awesomer” press conference

23-overlay4

"You don't feel in beast mode. It feels you."