TIME magazine journalist Steven Sotloff is the second American to be beheaded by extremist terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). An intelligence group obtained a video showing the beheading of Sotloff in retaliation for America’s continued airstrikes in Iraq.
The video is a carbon copy of another video released by ISIS showing the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley 2 weeks ago in Syria. Both videos begin with footage of American President Barack Obama speaking at a press conference. Then Sotloff recites a prepared speech, after which his masked assassin, using voice altering technology, speaks directly to President Obama.
“You, Obama, have but to gain from your actions but another American citizen. So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”
Then the assassin sawed rapidly at Sotloff’s throat with the dull edge of the knife, a method which is intended to cause slow death. Some speculate that Sotloff is calm in the video because the terrorists made him practice his lines while pretending to cut his throat in previous videos.
A foreign journalist is displayed briefly at the end of the video. The White House released a statement shortly after the video was released. “Our thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.