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 National

Making headlines this week

AP792818563420

A look at the big stories that made news this week and the headlines you may have missed.

in National

Americans are really angry with Washington

america

Americans are angry with the handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants.

in Local

BFMC Adopts Enterovirus Policy

medical mask

Effective immediately, anyone visiting a new mother or child at the Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center must be 14 or older

in Local

Northampton to Study Plastic Bag/Styrofoam Ban

noho city hall

The city of Northampton has officially opened discussion on an ordinance banning plastic bags and styrofoam

in Local

Blarney Blowout Report Released

by Jason Picard, Courtesy of Daily Hampshire Gazette

The long-awaited Blarney Blowout report written by former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis has been released