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Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that he would chair an emergency response meeting with his Cabinet early Wednesday to review the latest developments.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

In a statement Tuesday evening from U.S. Central Command, military officials said an airstrike conducted Monday against Islamic State militants near the Mosul Dam damaged or destroyed 16 armed vehicles.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, and graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire.

As a student at Kimball, Sotloff “developed a passion for reporting and writing, a gift that he shared with people around the world, and this unthinkable act of terror has taken him from us far too soon,” New Hampshire Gov, Maggie Hassan said in a statement.

Sotloff then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2002 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican, said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Florida., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Florida, contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that he would chair an emergency response meeting with his Cabinet early Wednesday to review the latest developments.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

In a statement Tuesday evening from U.S. Central Command, military officials said an airstrike conducted Monday against Islamic State militants near the Mosul Dam damaged or destroyed 16 armed vehicles.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2002 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican, said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Florida., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Florida, contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that he would chair an emergency response meeting with his Cabinet early Wednesday to review the latest developments.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

In a statement Tuesday evening from U.S. Central Command, military officials said an airstrike conducted Monday against Islamic State militants near the Mosul Dam damaged or destroyed 16 armed vehicles.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2002 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican, said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Florida., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Florida, contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that he would chair an emergency response meeting with his Cabinet early Wednesday to review the latest developments.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2002 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Fla., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Fla., contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that he would chair an emergency response meeting with his Cabinet early Wednesday to review the latest developments.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2022 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Fla., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Fla., contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Britain and France called the killing “barbaric.” In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State. Psaki would not give any specifics, but one is a 26-year-old woman kidnapped while doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, according to a family representative who asked that the hostage not be identified out of fear for her safety.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported the video’s existence.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, a faction of the Islamic State apparently posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then attended the University of Central Florida, which said he majored in journalism from 2022 to 2004 but apparently left without graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Fla., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday, and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Fla., contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. said appeared to be a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”

Psaki said it is believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State but would not give any specifics.

The fighter who apparently beheads Sotloff in the video calls it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter says. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

At the end of the video, he threatens to kill a third captive, a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was. Britain’s Foreign Office had no comment.

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke the Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

In a sign of disorganization – or perhaps dissension – in the extremist group’s ranks, it appeared that a faction of the Islamic State posted the video early, before it was supposed to be released. In a later Twitter message, those responsible apologized and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleaded with his captors for mercy, saying in a video that her son was “an innocent journalist” and “an honorable man” who “has always tried to help the weak.”

The Islamic State has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border. In its rise to prominence over the past year, it has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Sotloff grew up in the Miami area, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, and then enrolled at the University of Central Florida.

UCF spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala said Sotloff was a student majoring in journalism from 2002 to 2004. She said the school has no record of him graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

At Sotloff’s parents’ home in Pinecrest, Fla., two police vehicles blocked the driveway Tuesday and officers advised journalists to stay away. Friends of the family could be seen coming and going.

“Everyone’s been concerned. Everyone is grieving,” neighbor Pepe Cazas said. “It’s terrible. I’ve been praying for him.”

Associated Press writers Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo, Sylvia Hui in London and Christine Armario in Pinecrest, Fla., contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. said appeared to be a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the Sotloff family, said that the family had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released online last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has claimed wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

In the video, the organization threatens to kill another hostage, this one identified as a British citizen.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence. Unlike the footage of Foley’s beheading, which was widely shared on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group, the video purporting to show Sotloff’s killing was not immediately posted online, though several jihadi websites told users to expect it Tuesday.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts will work as quickly as possible to determine if the video of the beheading is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Psaki said it’s believed that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State but would not give any specifics.

The fighter who beheads Sotloff in the video called it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group in Iraq.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter said. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

At the end of the video, he threatens to kill a third captive, a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was. Officials with the British Foreign Office declined to immediately comment.

The killer specifically mentions the recent U.S. airstrikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. airstrikes broke Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

Before the video’s release, messages on websites frequented by jihadis warned of a “second message to America.” However, it appeared that a separate faction of the Islamic State group posted it early to another account before it was supposed to be released. A later Twitter message apologized for releasing it early and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

Sotloff’s mother had pleaded for his release last week in a video directed at the Islamic State group.

Addressing the leader of the Islamic State group by name, Shirley Sotloff said in a video her son was “an innocent journalist” who shouldn’t pay for U.S. government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said after the release of the latest footage: “This is something that the administration has obviously been watching very carefully. Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him.”

The Islamic State group has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border.

In its rise to prominence over the past year, the extremist group has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

Sotloff graduated from Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire in 2002 and then began attending the University of Central Florida, according to a society notice in The Miami Herald’s archives.

UCF spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala said school records show Sotloff was a student majoring in journalism from fall 2002 until fall 2004. She said the school has no record of him graduating.

Just how Sotloff made his way from Florida to Middle East hotspots is not clear. He published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in a variety of publications. Several focus on the plight of ordinary people in war-torn places.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State’s “barbarity across the region – beheading and crucifying those who don’t share their ideology.” He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the Islamic State – including through airstrikes.

Associated Press writers Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington, Nariman El-Mofty in Cairo and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State extremists released a video posted Tuesday showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The footage – depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality – was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and days after Sotloff’s mother pleaded for his life.

Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the Sotloff family, confirmed the death.

“The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” Barfi said.

Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released online last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has claimed wide swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

The organization threatened to kill another hostage, this one they identified as a British citizen.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence. Unlike Foley’s beheading, which was widely shared on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group, the video purporting to show Sotloff’s killing was not immediately posted online, though several jihadi websites told users to expect it Tuesday.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysis will “work as quickly as possible” to determine if the video of the beheading is authentic.

“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” Psaki said. “Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Psaki said it’s believed that “a few” Americans are believed to still be held by the Islamic State but would not give any specifics.

The fighter who beheads Sotloff in the video called it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group in Iraq.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter said. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

At the end of the video, he threatened to kill a third captive, a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was. Officials with the British Foreign Office declined to immediately comment.

Sotloff’s mother had pleaded for his release last week in a video directed at the Islamic State group.

Addressing the leader of the Islamic State group by name, Shirley Sotloff said in a video her son was “an innocent journalist” who shouldn’t pay for U.S. government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he wasn’t immediately aware of the purported Sotloff video and wasn’t in a position to confirm its authenticity.

“This is something that the administration has obviously been watching very carefully,” Earnest said. “Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him.”

A man who answered a phone listed in the name of Sotloff’s sister hung up when called by the AP.

The Islamic State group has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border.

In its rise to prominence over the past year, the extremist group has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of everything from bombings and beheadings to mass killings.

Associated Press writers Josh Lederman and Lara Jakes in Washington and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

KDWN

BEIRUT (AP) — An Internet video posted online Tuesday purported to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group, which called it retribution for continued U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.

In the video distributed Tuesday and entitled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he was purportedly beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity. The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence. Unlike Foley’s beheading, which was widely shared on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group, the video purporting to show Sotloff’s killing was not immediately posted online, though several jihadi websites told users to expect it Tuesday.

The fighter who beheads Sotloff in the video called it retribution for Obama’s continued airstrikes against the group in Iraq.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the fighter said. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

At the end of the video, he threatened to kill a third captive, a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.

Sotloff’s mother had pleaded for his release last week in a video directed at the Islamic State group.

Addressing the leader of the Islamic State group by name, Shirley Sotloff said in a video her son was “an innocent journalist” who shouldn’t pay for U.S. government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he wasn’t immediately aware of the purported Sotloff video and wasn’t in a position to confirm its authenticity.

“This is something that the administration has obviously been watching very carefully,” Earnest said. “Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him.”

A man who answered a phone listed in the name of Sotloff’s sister hung up when called by the AP.

The Islamic State group which has taken over a third of Syria and Iraq has terrorized rivals and civilians alike with widely publicized brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the border.

In its rise to prominence over the past year, the extremist group has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of everything from bombings and beheadings to mass killings.

Associated Press writer Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.