Members of the Islamic State or Caliphate, also known as ISIS and ISIL, have reportedly beheaded another American. The latest victim is believed to be U.S. reporter Steven Sotloff. A video that appeared on the internet appears to show Sotloff's beheading by the Muslim group.
When asked by the press corps, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that he had no information about the incident. The mutiliation is believed to have turned up the pressure for President Barack Obama to take more military action in the Mideast where, in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State holds sway.
Before his mutilation by the knife-wielding masked man in the video, Sotloff was heard to address Obama directly. In the video, Sotloff said, "I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing. 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?" He had been missing since August 2013.
The video also features a statement by an Islamic militant, who said that long as U.S. missiles “continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.” The Caliphate threatens to murder a British captive next. The executioner, who spoke with a British accent, also said “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.” Since the militant depicted in the video spoke with a British accent, there was thereby raised the possibility that the he is the same person who beheaded James Foley, an American whose execution was shown in a video released last week. The video was similar to the one depicting Foley's murder, featuring a bleak desert landscape in the background.
The video also shows another hostage who is identified as David Cawthorne Haines, a British aid worker. The executioner goes on to warn “governments that enter this evil alliance of America . . . to back off and leave our people alone.” Haines is shown kneeling and wearing an orange jumpsuit, much like Sotloff and Foley.
Haines was abducted in 2013 near the Atmeh refugee camp at the Turkish border in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.
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