Sotloffs: Steven Sold to ISIS by Other Rebels
Spokesman says family's relationship with White House is 'very strained'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2014 2:21 PM CDT
Shirley Sotloff and Arthur B. Sotloff exit a car as they return home after the memorial service for their son, slain journalist Steven Sotloff, at Temple Beth Am on Sept. 5, 2014, in Pinecrest, Fla.   (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Carl Juste)

(Newser) – A family spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 last night and revealed that the location of the journalist had been sold to ISIS by "so-called moderate rebels," leading to Sotloff's capture, CNN reports. "Somebody at the [Syrian] border crossing made a phone call to ISIS, and they set up a fake checkpoint with many people," Barak Barfi told Cooper. "Steve and his people that he went in with could not escape." The family, which says it received this information from "sources on the ground," believes these lower-level rebels—which Barfi says "people want our administration to support," per CBS News—may have been paid between $25,000 and $50,000 to give Sotloff up.

According to Barfi, Sotloff's name was erroneously on a list of people who had reportedly bombed a hospital, which made him a prime ISIS target. "This was false—activists spread his name around," Barfi said. The spokesman also revealed that the Sotloffs currently have a "very strained" relationship with the Obama administration, the result of a "rebuffed" request by the White House after Sotloff was originally seen in the James Foley execution video. "We do not believe they gave us the cooperation [the family needed]," Barfi says, adding that both Foley and Sotloff have been used as "pawns" in a "larger game of bureaucratic infighting" between the White House and intelligence agents.