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Steven Sotloff’s family has spoken publicly for the first time since a video of his killing was released by ISIS militants.
The family said that Steven Sotloff gave his life to covering the suffering of people in war zones, but was “no hero”.
Vice President Joe Biden said that Islamic State militants who killed him and another American journalist, James Foley, would be pursued “to the gates of hell”.
Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Steven Sotloff family spokesman Barak Barfi said that Steven “wanted to give voice to those who had none”.
He said that Steven Sotloff “was no war junkie and did not want to be a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia”.
“From the Libyan doctor in Misrata who struggled to provide psychological services to children ravaged by war, to the Syrian plumber who risked his life by crossing regime lines to purchase medicine, their story was Steve’s story. He ultimately sacrificed his life to bring their story to the world,” Barak Barfi said.
“Today we grieve but we will emerge stronger. We will not allow our enemies to hold us hostage with the sole weapon they possess: Fear.”
Steven Sotloff was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2013 and held captive by ISIS militants (photo Facebook)
Barak Barfi said that Steven Joel Sotloff was “torn between two poles” – his love of home life and his passion for the Arab world.
He said that the Sotloff family’s prayers went out to the family of Jim Foley, who was similarly killed last month.
“Like Steve he suffered but his jailors never broke him. He was an inspiration to others held in prison.”
The tribute to Steven Sotloff came after President Barack Obama vowed that the US would not be intimidated following the release of a video tape of his murder by ISIS militants.
Barack Obama said the US would build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” ISIS.
Vice-President Joe Biden said that the US would not stop until the militants are brought to justice.
He said the American people “are so much stronger, so much more resolved” than any enemy can understand.
ISIS has seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in recent months, declaring a new caliphate, or Islamic State, under leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The US has launched more than 120 air strikes in the past month to try to help Kurdish forces curb the Islamic State advance.
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The video showing the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS militants is authentic, the US has confirmed.
Steven Joel Sotloff, 31, was abducted in northern Syria in August 2013.
President Barack Obama warned the killers that “our reach is long and justice will be served”.
Meanwhile, the UK held a meeting of its emergency Cobra committee after threats to kill a British hostage who was also shown in the latest video.
President Barack Obama, speaking in Estonia, said the killing was a “horrific act of violence and we cannot begin to imagine the agony everyone who loves Steven is feeling right now. Our country grieves with them”.
He added: “We will not be intimidated. This horrific act only unites us.”
US National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said: “The US Intelligence Community has analyzed the recently released video showing US citizen Steven Sotloff and has reached the judgment that it is authentic.”
The video showing the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS militants has been confirmed as authentic
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also said “preliminary analysis” had suggested the video was genuine.
A spokesman for the Sotloff family had earlier indicated they believed the video was genuine, issuing a statement that said: “The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time.”
Before the verification was confirmed, US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said: “If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family.”
Jen Psaki said it was believed that “a few” other Americans were still being held by Islamic State.
Steven Sotloff had appeared in a video last month which showed fellow American journalist James Foley being killed.
The latest video, entitled A second message to America, is about two-and-a-half minutes long and was apparently recorded in a desert.
Next to a masked figure, Steven Sotloff reads out a text addressed to President Barack Obama saying: “You’ve spent billions of US taxpayers’ dollars and we have lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so where is the people’s interest in reigniting this war?”
The militant has a voice with a British accent similar to that of the man who appeared to carry out the beheading of James Foley.
The man says: “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State… despite our serious warnings.”
The jihadist also threatens to kill the British hostage shown in the footage. The family of the British hostage has asked the media not to release his name.
The US has launched more than 120 air strikes in the past month to try to help Kurdish forces curb the IS advance.
ISIS militants have seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in recent months, declaring a new caliphate, or Islamic state, under leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
After the news of the video emerged, President Barack Obama ordered the deployment of another 350 troops to Baghdad to protect US diplomatic facilities.
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A new Islamic State video has showed the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff.
Steven Sotloff, 31, disappeared in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end of a video last month which showed fellow American journalist James Foley being killed.
A militant in the latest video also threatens to kill a British hostage.
Steven Sotloff’s family said they were aware of the video and were “grieving privately”.
After James Foley’s death, Steven Sotloff’s mother appealed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to save her son’s life.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said US officials were checking the reports.
The US has recently carried out dozens of air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.
The video, entitled A second message to America, shows a masked figure together with Steven Sotloff, who is dressed in an orange jumpsuit.
Steven Sotloff was abducted near Aleppo in northern Syria in August 2013
Steven Sotloff reads out a text addressed to Barack Obama saying: “You’ve spent billions of US taxpayers’ dollars and we have lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so where is the people’s interest in reigniting this war?”
The masked man then describes the act he is about to commit as retribution for the US air strikes.
“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State… despite our serious warnings,” the man says.
“We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.”
The video ends with the militant threatening to kill a captive who is claimed to be British.
US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act.”
Steven Sotloff was abducted near Aleppo in northern Syria in August 2013.
He had worked for Time magazine, Foreign Policy and the Christian Science Monitor, and reported from Egypt, Libya and Syria.
Friends said Steven Sotloff had lived in Yemen for many years and spoke good Arabic.
At the time of his capture, Steven Sotloff’s family chose not to go public with details, on the advice of officials.
Last month a video was released showing the beheading of James Foley.
Steven Sotloff was shown at the end, as a militant gave a warning that his fate depended on President Barack Obama’s next move.
The US launched has launched more than 120 air strikes in Iraq in the last month, in an attempt to help Kurdish forces curb the advance of Islamic State militants and protect minorities threatened by them.
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Shirley Sotloff, the mother of American journalist Steven Sotloff held by ISIS militants, has made an emotional video appeal for his release.
Shirley Sotloff addressed her plea directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant group.
Steven Joel Sotloff, who vanished last year in Syria, appeared in a video showing the killing of US journalist James Foley.
The militant on the video said his life depended on the next move of President Barack Obama.
The US has recently carried out dozens of air strikes against IS targets in Iraq.
Shirley Sotloff addressed her plea for her son’s life directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the ISIS militant group
In her video message, Shirley Sotloff described her son as a journalist who had travelled to the Middle East to cover the “suffering of Muslims under the hands of tyrants”.
“Steven has no control over the actions of the US government. He’s an innocent journalist. I’ve always learned that you, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you to please release my child,” said Shirley Sotloff.
“I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammad.”
Steven Sotloff’s case was not widely reported after his mother was told by ISIS militants he would be killed if she publicized it.
However, last week, Steven Sotloff appeared at the end of an ISIS video showing the killing of James Foley.
The masked militant who killed James Foley held Steven Sotloff by the collar and said: “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”
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