Islamic State beheads second US journalist

The Islamic State has murdered the US journalist Steven Sotloff, days after his mother pleaded with the group’s leader to spare his life.

The armed group released the video of the 31-year-old’s death on Tuesday. Internet monitors who have seen the video confirmed its content. Sotloff had been held hostage in Syria by the group since August 2013.

In the new video the group also threatened to kill another captive David Cawthorne Haines, a Briton.

The death comes two weeks after the group released a video showing the murder of James Foley, another US journalist, which a masked member of the Islamic State claims his death was revenge for US attacks on its fighters in Iraq.

In that video, Sotloff was pictured, with a fighter saying his life depended on US president Barack Obama’s next move.

The killer in both videos appeared to be the same man – a British-accented man dressed in black fatigues and balaclava.

Internet monitors who had viewed the video said that Sotloff’s hair was longer in the video released on Tuesday.

Less than a week ago, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, directly addressed the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an appeal for his release less than a week ago.

“You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you, please, release my child. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life,” Mrs Sotloff said in the video.

Jan Psaki, of the US state department, said authorities were working to authenticate the video.

“If true, we are sickened by this brutal act. Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family,” she said.

Source: Al Jazeera

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