Steven Sotloff, a United States’ Time Magazine reporter, has been beheaded by the Islamic State extremist group. In a 2-minute video entitled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff – a 31-year-old freelance journalist – spoke to the camera just before a cloaked Islamic State fighter decapitated him, according to a Fox News report on Tuesday. The beheading of Steven J. Sotloff is the second beheading of an American by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Just two weeks ago, James Foley – another American journalist – was reportedly beheaded by ISIS. It was then that the organization warned that Sotloff would be the next to die.
A video of the incident appeared on the Internet. In the video, Sotloff said – under apparent duress – that he is sure people know exactly who he is by now and why he is appearing. He stated, “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?" Following the statement from Sotloff, the video goes to the masked militant warning that as long as the United States missiles continue to strike our people, the ISIS knife will continue to strike the necks of American people.
Furthermore, the life of David Cawthorne Haines, a captive from England, was threatened. In the video, the executioner said, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State." The executioner appears to be the same person who executed Foley two weeks ago.
Sotloff’s family issued a statement in which it was stated that they believe he had been killed, according to the New York Times. The apparent execution of Sotloff came after pleas from his mother, Shirley, which was directed at ISIS’ top leader. She sought mercy for her son – who was captured in northern Syria a year ago. In her statement released just days ago, she said that her son should not be paying for the United States’ government actions in the Middle East as he cared about the weak an oppressed as a journalist. Her statements cited Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, by name. She urged him to show mercy and follow the example of the prophet Muhammad in protecting people of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. Her urging was not followed.