An American-Israeli journalist was beheaded on Tuesday by an Islamic State terrorist, sending a message to US President Obama to stop striking IS in Iraq.
Steven Joel Sotloff, a 31-year-old American Jewish journalist who had made aliyah (immigration to Israel) in 2005, was beheaded Tuesday by an Islamic State (IS) terrorist.
Sotloff’s beheading was filmed, as was the beheading of American journalist James Foley two weeks ago. In the two-minute video, titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff speaks to the camera before an IS terrorist cloaked in black decapitates him.
“I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing,” Sotloff said under apparent duress. “Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?”
“I’m back, Obama,” said the executioner with a British accent nicknamed “John the Jihadist,” who appears to be the same man who killed Foley. “And I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”
The masked terrorist further warns that as long as US missiles “continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.” He also threatened to murder other captives.
The gruesome video then shows Sotloff’s severed head lying next to his body.
A Mother’s Plea to the Terrorists
Sotloff’s mother directly addressed the leader of the Islamic State last week, saying that her son should not pay for US government policy in the Middle East and that he cared about the weak and oppressed.
“I want what every mother wants, to live to see her children’s children” she said. “I plead with you to grant me this.”
Sotloff, who was fluent in Arabic, has operated out of several Middle Eastern countries. He was last seen in August 2013 in Syria and has since been in IS captivity. He was recently threatened with death by terrorists on video. The same video, demanding that the US halt air strikes on IS in Iraq, showed the beheading of fellow American journalist Foley.
Sotloff Prayed and Fasted in Captivity
An unnamed former hostage who was held by IS and recently released told the YNET news site that Sotloff had observed the Yom Kippur fast last year without revealing his Jewish roots to his captors. “He told them he was not feeling well and did not want to eat, even though we were served eggs that day,” he said. “It looked like he was praying towards Jerusalem. He looked to where the Muslims were praying and changed the direction a bit.”
A media gag order lifted on Wednesday allowed the publication of the fact that Sotloff was an Israeli. After making aliyah, he studied at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.
Possible International Action against IS?
As leaders around the world expressed shock at this heinous act of violence, the White House announced that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will travel to the Middle East in order to “build stronger regional partnerships” against the “Islamic State” terrorist organization.
Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel