"We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of Steven Sotloff by ISIL," the National Security Council said Tuesday, adding that the video is currently being reviewed by the Intelligence Community "to determine its authenticity."
Earlier Tuesday, a video entitled "A Second Message to America," was posted online, appearing very similar to the video posted two weeks earlier showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley and a threat that Sotloff would be executed next if U.S. military involvement in Iraq continued.
In the new footage, Sotloff is shown kneeling, dressed in an orange jump suit, alongside an Islamic State militant armed with a knife. Sotloff calmly addresses the camera, saying in part: "Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?"
"If [the] video is genuine," the NSC stated, "we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent journalist and express our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Sotloff's mother, Shirley Sotloff, appealed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last week to spare her son's life, delivering a recorded video message that was aired by Al Arabyia news station. In the video, she pleaded, "As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over."
Sotloff, 31, was working as a freelance journalist in Syria when he was abducted last year.
Editor's note: UPI will not reproduce, in part or in whole, the videos posted by IS. This is out of respect to the Foley and Sotloff families and because the videos constitute propaganda for a group designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States.
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