Two weeks after the barbaric murder of journalist James Foley, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, released a video today allegedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff.
In the video, which authorities haven’t confirmed its authenticity, the group warns President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”
According to CBS, the Sotloff family has seen the video: “The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time,” said Barak Barfi, a family spokesperson.
Sotloff, a 31-year-old journalist who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines went missing in Syria in August of last year. He wasn’t seen again until the Foley video last month. In that video, Sotloff was threaten with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.
Here is a transcript of the video entitled “A Second Message To America”:
I am Steven Joel Sotloff. I’m sure you know exactly who I am now and why I am appearing before you. And now this time for my message:
Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life? Am I not an American citizen? You’ve spent billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars, and we’ve lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so where is the people’s interest in reigniting this war?
From what little I know about foreign policy, I remember a time you could not win an election without promising to bring our troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan and to close down Guantanamo. Here you are now, Obama, nearing the end of your term and having achieving none of the above and deceivingly marching us the American people in the blazing fire.
I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State, because of your insistence on continuing your bombing and [unclear] on Mosul Dam, despite our serious warning. 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.
We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence analysts are working as quickly as possible to determine if the video is authentic.
“If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act, taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our hearts go out to the Sotloff family and we will provide more information as it becomes available,” she said.
She added that she believe that “a few” Americans are still being held by the Islamic State but did not provide additional details.