Islamic State terrorists have released video claiming to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to an intelligence monitoring group.
The Islamic State had threatened Sotloff’s life in the video of American photojournalist James Foley’s execution released two weeks ago.
In the new video, titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff wears an orange jumpsuit like Foley wore. Speaking to the camera, Sotloff describes himself as “paying the price” for America’s intervention in Iraq, according to a transcript from the SITE Intelligence Group.
Beside him, a British-accented militant directly addresses President Barack Obama as if he is the same fighter who executed Foley.
“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,” he says, waving a knife. “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.”
The Islamic State is again threatening another captive, identified as a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines.
Reacting to initial word that a new video had been released, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he wasn’t able to offer any confirmation.
“This is something that the administraiton has been watching very carefully since the threat against Mr. Sotloff’s life was originally made a few weeks ago,” Earnest said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him. The United States, as you know, has dedicated significant time and resources to try and rescue Mr. Sotloff. I’m not in the position to confirm the authenticity of the video or reports since I just walked out here. If there is a video that has been released, it’s something that will be analyzed very closely.”
Sotloff did freelance work for Time and Foreign Policy magazines. His mother, Shirley Sotloff, made a direct video appeal last week for her son’s life to be spared.
A family spokesman confirmed Sotloff’s death to the Associated Press and said they were grieving.
“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” family spokesman Barak Barfi said.
At least two other Americans are believed held captive by the Islamic State, according to the New York Times.
This post has been updated.