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New video shows apparent beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff

The radical group the Islamic State released a video on Tuesday showing the beheading of US journalist - Steven Sotloff, and blaming the killing on President Barack Obama and raising the pressure on him to order military strikes on the group in its sanctuary in Syria.

The video of Sotloff's killing was first confirmed Tuesday by the SITE Intel Group, which monitors extremist networks.
In the video, which lasts for just under three minutes, an ISIS militant appears to murder Sotloff, showing his severed head resting on his torso. The militant then threatens the life of David Haines, a British citizen. The Washington Post said Haines is an aid worker who was kidnapped in March 2013.

The video is chillingly similar in tone and content to the one which showed the beheading of James Foley, another American journalist, two weeks ago. In that video, militants threatened to murder Sotloff next if the US bombing of ISIS targets continued. The man shown apparently beheading Sotloff repeats that threat in the most recent video, saying, "Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

It had initially been thought that Steven Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, but his appearance in the video, as well as references made to events which occurred after Foley's murder, made it difficult to pin down precisely when the recording was made.

ISIS is believed to be holding several more journalists in captivity, most of them local Syrian reporters.

The warning is extended to governments that might join the the “evil” actions of the US against ISIS. It is around this point that the video cuts to another kneeling captive, stated to be a British national.

British intelligence officials have been working urgently to try to identify Foley’s killer, reportedly using sophisticated voice recognition techniques to help narrow down a list of potential British jihadi suspects.

UK government sources said that an early analysis of the video suggested that the British man whose voice issued this threat was the same man heard on the video that depicted the murder of Foley.

In Washington, the White House said it could not immediately verify the video of Sotloff's beheading.

Many U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence officials had assumed that he died earlier — likely killed, they said, at the same time Foley was murdered.

Some U.S. government officials believe that Mr. Sotloff was likely killed immediately after Mr. Foley in August, and that militants delayed the release to heighten the impact, the official said after viewing the video.

The official said Mr. Haines, the British hostage, has also likely been killed.

Ms. Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said U.S. intelligence will work as quickly as possible to determine the authenticity of the video. If it is authentic, the U.S. would be "sickened by this brutal act," she said, adding: "Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family."

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House intelligence committee, said: "We cannot afford to allow these terrorists to continue their march."

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said if verified, the killing of Mr. Sotloff is "a despicable and barbaric murder."

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the new video demonstrates the Islamic State's "barbarity across the region - beheading and crucifying those who don't share their ideology." He said the U.S. and allies need to step up military action against the group, including through airstrikes.

Via: Wall Street Journal | BBC | The Guardian.com | Huffington Post