Islamic State releases video of journalist Steven Sotloff's beheading

American journalist Steven Sotloff (Center with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on the Al Dafniya front line, 25 km west of Misrata on June 02, 2011 in Misrata, Libya.  Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013 near Aleppo, Syria. Photo by Etienne de Malglaive.


American journalist Steven Sotloff (Center with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on the Al Dafniya front line, 25 km west of Misrata on June 02, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013 near Aleppo, Syria. Photo by Etienne de Malglaive.

The Islamic State militant group today released a video online that appears to show the beheading of American freelance journalist Steven Sotloff.

The reporter was abducted in Syria one year ago, and is the second US reporter to have been murdered by ISIS/ISIL. The group posted a video online of James Foley's beheading on August 19, and vowed to do the same to Sotloff in response to U.S. military intervention in Iraq. US officials have not yet confirmed that the video shows what it purports to show.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the killing. "Journalists know that covering war is inherently dangerous and that they could get killed in crossfire. But being butchered in front of camera simply for being a reporter is pure barbarism," Executive Director Joel Simon said. "We condemn in the strongest terms possible the murder of journalist Steven Sotloff. He, like James Foley, went to Syria to tell a story. They were civilians, not representatives of any government. Their murders are war crimes and those who committed them must be brought to justice swiftly."

As with other videos of its type, we don't recommend you watch it, and it is not linked to in this blog post.

Undated photo shows journalist Steven Sotloff at the Great Sphinx, in Egypt. From Facebook.


Undated photo shows journalist Steven Sotloff at the Great Sphinx, in Egypt. From Facebook.

HT: Andy Carvin

Notable Replies

  1. this makes me sad on so many many levels.

    a group of freinds was having dinner last week, and I suggested something.

    We take 10 mothers from each country, put them in a room with the ingredients and kitchen for a meal. I'd bet ? 3 hours later they will emerge with a plan for peace, and a good recipe exchange.

    NO mother wants to lose their babies. We need moms in charge, not politicians and religious leaders.

    Put an end to all this mindless killing.

  2. By the time they get to the "beheaded on video" stage they've usually been detained for some time and most likely tortured. By then they know that kicking and screaming won't help them escape and will ultimately add to their own suffering. "Resigned" is a pretty reasonable mental state to be in, all things considered. Even if they did fight back defiantly, it seems unlikely that the terrorists would release that take.

  3. War-hawk Hilary Clinton is a mother. Wartime PM Golda Meir was a mother. Former Rawandan Minster of Family Welfare and the Advancement of Women (a mother) was convicted of genocide and overseeing the systematic rape of prisoners. Remorseless British serial killer Joanna Dennehy is a mother.


    Mothers are people too, not saints.

  4. Bin Laden said his plan was to get the US to come to the Middle East and bankrupt us, and Dubya danced for Bin Laden like a puppet on a string by invading.

    Now ISIS is demanding that we come back into Iraq. They have a whole national stockpile of explosives to turn into IEDs, so if we show up there would be constant carnage. They are using VBIEDs these days (Very Big IEDs) containing multiple tons of explosives, and packing captured armored vehicles with explosives. When these things go off, you can see the shockwave in the air (not dust on the ground) going hundreds of yards.

    Of course, the GOP wants to go right back to giving the terrorists what they want. John McCain seems to be keeping quiet, because until a few months ago he said we should be arming ISIS.

  5. Elusis says:

    Declaring other people to be, essentially, totally alien to us is half a step away from putting them into the "non-human" category, which is how this kind of mess gets started to begin with.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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