ISIS Militants Reportedly Threaten Life Of South Florida Journalist
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Newly released video from ISIS militants shows the beheading of American journalist James Foley and threatens the life of a South Florida journalist if President Barack Obama doesn’t end military operations in Iraq.
The chilling video posted on YouTube Tuesday afternoon shows a man who ISIS said is South Florida journalist Steven Sotloff on his knees, being threatened following a taped execution of another American journalist.
In the video a man dressed in black threatens to kill Sotloff, saying, “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”
Sotloff is a freelance journalist who writes for several news publications including Time magazine. He was kidnapped back in August 2013.
The University of Central Florida graduate describes himself on his twitter page as a “stand-up philosopher from Miami.” His family lives in Pinecrest.
“They are in our prayers,” said neighbor Michael Finuccio. “It’s a horrible situation and it’s very deeply disturbing that it’s affecting a neighbor of ours.”
The disturbing video begins with the beheading of James Foley who disappeared in November of 2012 in Northwest Syria. As he is kneeling, Foley reads a message, presumably scripted by his captors, that his “real killer” is America.
“I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again,” he can be heard saying in the video.
Foley had previously been taken captive in Libya and spoke to CBS News after his release in 2011.
Foley’s mother released a message Tuesday evening saying, “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world. We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.”
The National Security Council released a statement about the video saying,”The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”