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Family of slain American journalist breaks silence, calls son 'hero'

The family of slain American journalist, Steven Sotloff broke their silence on Wednesday.
By Heather Records   |   Sept. 3, 2014 at 8:26 PM

PINECREST, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- On Wednesday, the family of Steven Sotloff, the American journalist reportedly killed by the Islamic State terrorist group, spoke out through a spokesman, calling his death a "sacrifice."

Barak Barfi speaking outside the family home in Pinecrest, Fla., said Sotloff was not a "war junkie" but wanted to give a voice to those who "had none."

Barfi also called the writer a "hero," adding, "he ultimately sacrificed his life to bring their story to the world... He had a gentle soul that this world will be without."

On Tuesday, a video was posted online purporting to show the beheading of the journalist.

U.S. officials confirmed the authenticity of the video Wednesday.

Late last week, Sotloff's mother, Shirley, sent a video to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pleading for her son's release. She posted the video after IS beheaded another journalist, James Foley.

A memorial was set for Sotloff at 1 p.m. Friday at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Fla.

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