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Steven Sotloff is the other U.S. journalist shown in the James Foley execution video. In the last moments of the horrifying footage, the executioner says: “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”
On last reports, Sotloff was being held in Raqqa, Syria. His family were aware that he had been kidnapped but, heeding advice, did not want it to be public.
Here’s what you need to know about Sotloff:
1. Sotloff Is a Nationally Recognized Journalist
Sotloff is a renowned journalist who has worked for Time Magazine, among other outlets, and been a guest on CNN and Fox News. He apparently filed his last piece for Time on November 26, 2012. The piece was about “Libya’s New Crisis.”
2. He Has Been Missing for 12 Months
— Steven Sotloff (@stevensotloff) August 3, 2013
Sotloff had been missing, believed kidnapped since August 4, when he was taken in Aleppo, Syria. Sotloff, a Miami native, sent his last tweet on August 3, 2013. His second to last tweet was more relevant to conflicts in the region:
Hannibal Lecter wannabe Abu Sakkar killed by the Syrian regime today pic.twitter.com/xfAqEb99fW
— Steven Sotloff (@stevensotloff) July 31, 2013
A White House petition has been set up to try to force President Obama to do everything in his power to free Sotloff.
3. He’s a UCF Graduate
— Steven Sotloff (@stevensotloff) June 12, 2013
According to his LinkedIn page, Sotloff is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. He refers to his job as “Traveling Man.” On his Twitter page, Sotloff frequently tweeted about his beloved Miami Heat.
— Steven Sotloff (@stevensotloff) March 21, 2013
On August 7, 2013, just days after Sotloff was taken, his sister, Lauren, posted this on Facebook:
4. Sotloff Was Based in Libya & ‘Deeply Loved the Islamic World’
His social media posts were largely about the locals and scenery he encountered while working in Libya.
On his Facebook page, Sotloff wrote that he was living in Benghazi. A friend of Sotloff’s, Anne Marloe, wrote on Twitter that he lived in Yemen for years and that he “spoke good Arabic, deeply loved the Islamic world.”
5. The NSC Has Reacted to the Video
The National Security Council, reacting to the Foley video, said:
We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of US citizen James Foley by ISIL. The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available.