A family spokesman for the Sotloff family is now saying their son Steven, who was the second American journalist to be beheaded on film by ISIS, was sold to the Islamic State by moderate rebels in the Middle-East.
“For the first time we can say Steven was sold at the (Syrian) border,” said Sotloff family representative and research fellow at the New American Foundation, Barak Barfi, according to CBS News. “We believe these so-called moderate rebels that people want our administration to support- one of them sold him probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000 and that was the reason he was captured.”
Barfi also says he received a phone call from Sotloff, before he was kidnapped, from inside the Syrian border. According to RT, Barfi says “sources on the ground” are pointing to rebel forces who opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as hose responsible for tipping off members of ISIS to their capture and willingness to sell Sotloff.
These moderate rebels who captured Sotloff and have been waging this war against al-Assad have reportedly received support from the U.S. in the form of weapons and training to support their opposition to al-Assad. A report from the research group Conflict Armament Research has also said the weapons, which have been given to the moderate Syrian rebels, have ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters across the region.
After making these statements, Barfi said the relationship between the Sotloff family and President Obama’s administration has been strained and tense.
“They (the administration) said that these hostages were moved frequently,” Barfi told CNN. ” We know that for most of the beginning of part of this year they were stationary. We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim and Steve are pawns in that game and that’s not fair.”
“We need to be able to work closer with our allies,” Barfi said, according to the International Business Times. “Intelligence sharing and cooperation just isn’t as good as it should be.”