On Wednesday while visiting the Baltic nation of Estonia, during a press conference U.S. President Barack Obama stated emphatically to ISIS that its “horrific” murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff will not intimidate the United States, adding that its act has only strengthen the nation’s resolve to gain justice. President Obama had waited to address the execution until confirmation was made on the authenticity of the beheading video from ISIS.
“I want to say that today the prayers of the American people are with the family of a devoted and courageous journalist, Steven Sotloff, the President said. “Overnight, our government determined that, tragically, Steven was taken from us in a horrific act of violence. We cannot even begin to imagine the agony that everyone who loved Steven is feeling right now, especially his mother, his father and his younger sister. So today, our country grieves with them.”
According to President Obama, Sotloff sought only to bring greater understanding and voice for Islamic men and women seeking justice and freedom from oppression. He added that by killing Sotloff ISIS proved that its agenda is not one based upon defending the oppressed, but rather one of sheer barbarism.
In closing, Obama stated,
“Whatever these murderers think they’ll achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed. They have failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism. We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists. And those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.”
President Obama is in Estonia on Wednesday for a brief diplomatic visit to strengthen ties with the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. A major component of the visit is to show strengthened support of these countries and central Europe in light of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. He will be attending a NATO summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday.