The US has confirmed the authenticity of an ISIS video featuring journalist Steven Sotloff's beheading, with President Obama asserting that the recent executions only "stiffen our resolve" against the militant group. After intelligence officials analyzed the clip, Obama discussed it today in Estonia, the New York Times reports. "Whatever these murderers think they will achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed," he said. "They failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism. We will not be intimidated," he added, per Politico.
Calling Sotloff "courageous," Obama said that "his killers try to claim that they defend the oppressed, but it was Steven who traveled across the Middle East risking his life to tell the story of Muslim men and women demanding justice and dignity." He added, "We will not forget," noting that "our reach is long" and "justice will be served." Meanwhile:
- A tweet from the Embassy of Israel notes that Sotloff, an American, was also an Israeli citizen, Mashable reports. He received his undergraduate degree from an Israeli university, the Times of Israel notes.
- Sotloff wrote for publications ranging from Time magazine to the Daily Caller to Foreign Policy, ABC News notes. His most recent employer, World Affairs Journal, calls him "an honest and thoughtful journalist who strives to understand the story from local perspectives and report his findings straightforwardly."
- White House press secretary Josh Earnest apparently learned of the beheading during a press briefing, during which the news broke, Mediaite reports. When a journalist asked about the matter, Earnest said, "I've not seen those reports today. That may have just happened in the last few minutes as I've been standing up here."
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