A video that has not yet been authenticated appears to show another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, being beheaded by an assassin claiming to represent the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to multiple media sources.
The video looks much the same as the recent one — since authenticated — showing the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley in August. Like Foley, Sotloff was kidnapped in Syria more than a year ago. He had been reporting on the country's civil war, working as a freelance writer for magazines Time and Foreign Policy.
After Foley's death, Sotloff's mother Shirley directly appealed to ISIL's leadership for her son's release.
“The video reportedly warns governments to back off from ‘this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State,’” according to U.K. newspaper the Telegraph
In the video, Sotloff is heard saying he is “paying the price” for the Obama administration’s decision to strike ISIS targets in Iraq, according to The New York Times
. "The same masked fighter who appeared in the video of Mr. Foley’s beheading also appears beside Mr. Sotloff, asserting, 'I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,'" the Times reports.
"You've spent billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars and we've lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State," Sotfloff says in the video, according to USA Today
. "So where is the people's interest in reigniting this war?"
“Sotloff, 31, disappeared while reporting in Syria in August 2013,” The Telegraph reports. “His apparent kidnap was not widely reported until he appeared on a video [of Foley’s murder] released last month by the ISIL.”
In the earlier video, the assassin warns that Sotloff will meet the same fate as Foley, 45, unless President Obama ends air strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.
In the new video, which is just under three minutes long, the assassin kills Sotloff then threatens the life of British citizen David Haines, according to The Huffington Post
The video, entitled "A Second Message to America," opens with a clip from a press conference in which Obama promises to relentlessly pursue all those who harm Americans, reports USA Today.
ISIL is believed to be holding several more hostages, including at least two Americans.