ISIS extremists murder second US reporter

Published: September 3, 2014
An image grab from a video released by the Islamic State and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 2, 2014 purportedly shows the beheading of US freelance writer Steven Sotloff. PHOTO: AFP

An image grab from a video released by the Islamic State and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 2, 2014 purportedly shows the beheading of US freelance writer Steven Sotloff. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has murdered a second American reporter, releasing another video Tuesday showing a masked militant with a British accent cutting the throat of a US captive.

In the latest footage, the 31-year-old reporter Steven Sotloff calmly addresses the camera to say he is a victim of President Barack Obama’s decision to press on with air strikes against the jihadists.

At the end of the five-minute recording, discovered online by the SITE terrorism monitoring group and seen by AFP, the militant threatens another captive, identified on screen as a British citizen.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” the black-clad jihadist says, wielding a combat knife and speaking in a London accent.

This was a reference to a video issued last month in which US journalist James Foley was murdered, again by a suspected British foreign fighter, and in almost identical fashion.

Despicable act

The fighter condemned recent US air strikes on the area around the Mosul Dam in Iraq, dating the footage after 40-year-old Foley’s killing.

An image grab from a video released by the Islamic State and identified by private terrorism monitor …

“So just as your missiles continue to strike the necks of our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people,” he declared, before reaching round to cut his captive’s throat.

Sotloff’s hair and beard were longer than in the previous footage, in which he was threatened with death in retaliation for US strikes against IS forces.

In a warning to Britain, the killer declared: “We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.”

The Sotloff family, who live in Miami, issued a statement through a spokesperson, Barak Barfi, that implicitly confirmed the video as authentic.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” it said.

After Foley’s death, Sotloff’s mother Shirley had addressed a video message to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pleading for her son’s life, and insisting he had no influence on US policy.

Iraqi volunteer fighters celebrate the breaking of the jihadist siege on the Shiite town of Amerli o …

A US spokesperson said Washington was trying to authenticate the “sickening” footage, and British Prime Minister David Cameron said it depicted an “absolutely disgusting, despicable act.”

The latest brutal murder, which came on the heels of fresh reports of more IS atrocities against Iraqi and Syrian prisoners, will increase pressure on Obama to toughen his stance against the group.

He has promised to be “relentless” in his protection of US citizens in Iraq but admitted last week that Washington does not yet have a strategy to deal with IS in its heartland in eastern Syria.

Obama left Washington on Tuesday for Europe, where he was due to meet NATO leaders later this week, and made no comment on Sotloff’s murder or the situation in Iraq and Syria.

US air strikes have continued since Foley’s killing and on Tuesday appeared to bear fruit, as Iraqi forces continued their fightback against the jihadists who have seized much of northern Iraq.

After breaking a months-long siege of the Shiite Turkmen town of Amerli, government troops also regained control of part of a key highway linking Baghdad to the north of the country.

Two towns north of Amerli had already been retaken on Monday as Iraqi forces — backed by US strikes — won their first major victories since the army’s collapse across much of the north in June.

Ethnic cleansing

The jihadists have reportedly carried out widespread atrocities. On Tuesday, Amnesty International accused them of war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

The Sunni extremist group has declared a “caliphate” in regions under its control in Iraq and Syria.

In June, it swept through much of the Sunni Arab heartland north of Baghdad and then stormed minority Christian and Yazidi areas.

The extremist faction has carried out beheadings, crucifixions and public stonings, and Amnesty accused it of “war crimes, including mass summary killings and abductions” in areas it controls.

Assistance is now arriving in Amerli, brought in both by Shiite militia fighters and the United Nations, which said it had “delivered 45 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies.”

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Naila
    Sep 3, 2014 - 11:37AM

    “Sunni”??! Are you serious? They are not even Muslim!!!


  • naren
    Sep 3, 2014 - 1:27PM

    Do you think anything better is expected from these Insane people. They are not worth calling human being.


  • Anshuman
    Sep 3, 2014 - 1:55PM

    They are killing in the name of Islam…when it suits you you will own them and when it doesnt – you disown them….

    And they are chaieving islamic objectives by killing non muslims


  • Karachi Mirchi
    Sep 3, 2014 - 2:04PM

    Time for Muslims around the world to register their protest against these barbaric inhumane beasts using the name of Islam to promote their convoluted ideology. They may believe they are Muslims but they do not know the basics of what being Muslim means. One should not remain silent about their barbaric acts, not allowed even in times of war.


  • WB
    Sep 3, 2014 - 3:03PM


    “Sunni”??! Are you serious? They are not even Muslim!!!”

    So says the one who has no right to call himself a Muslim.

    Who are you to judge them? Who are you to say that they’re not even Muslims.

    Here’s a challenge.

    They consider themselves to be better Muslims than most Muslims.

    In fact they consider others to be not good Muslims.

    And I believe them. They are good Muslims and others are not.

    Can you disprove me logically?


  • Amir
    Sep 3, 2014 - 4:15PM


    You are right, they are the good Muslims and are practicing the purer version of Islam. After all they are from Arabia and what ever version of Islam they follow and implement has to be pure by definition. The rulers of Pakistan are in fact denying the innocent people of Pakistan the experience of the purer version of Islam, by not implementing Shariah in it pure form. This is a historical injustice that needs to be corrected for the people of Pakistan to unleash their latent energy and allow Pakistan to claim it’s rightful place in the comity of nations.


  • Naila
    Sep 3, 2014 - 4:50PM

    When it suits us?! Since when does Islam allow innocents to be murdered?


  • Naila
    Sep 3, 2014 - 4:52PM

    “So says the one who has no right to call himself a Muslim.”- In a few countries correct? What happened to the other 200?

    Believe what you want man; what I have heard from you, I simply cant imagine you understanding any “logic”.


  • Naila
    Sep 3, 2014 - 4:54PM

    Also, your comment shows the non existent knowledge of the religion by claiming that this is in Islam’s “objectives”.


  • cautious
    Sep 3, 2014 - 11:08PM

    If the USA could track down OBL hiding in the shadow of the Pakistan Military Academy it’s likely they can track down these guys — wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.


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