US: Sotloff video authentic; President Obama says justice will be served

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(CNN) — A rescue attempt “some time ago” failed to free a British hostage threatened in the latest video by the ISIS terror group, the UK said Wednesday.

In the video released Tuesday, the hostage is shown after a beheading, apparently of American journalist Steven Sotloff.

Sotloff is apparently the second American journalist beheaded by the group after James Foley’s killing last month. The executioner in the latest killing said it was a result of President Barack Obama’s decision to conduct airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq.

U.S. officials said an analysis of the video confirmed its authenticity.

“We will continue to provide updates as they are available,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond provided scant details of the failed rescue attempt or any plans in the works.

“You wouldn’t expect me to discuss various options that we will be considering,” he said. “But I can assure you that we will look at every possible option to protect this person.”

Obama said the United States “will not be intimidated” by the murderers of the two journalists.

“Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget … that our reach is long and that justice will be served,” he said.

Obama addressed his much-criticized statement last week that he has no strategy on ISIS. He said he was referring to a military strategy in Syria that “might” require congressional approval.

“Our objective is clear. That is to degrade and destroy (ISIS) so it’s no longer a threat,” he said. “We can accomplish that. It’s going to take some time, it’s going to take some effort.”

ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, refers to itself as the “Islamic State.”

Obama said the world needs a regional strategy to defeat the group.

“We’ve been putting together a strategy that was designed to do a number of things. … What we have to make sure is we have a regional strategy in place,” he said.

The video

In the latest video, Sotloff kneels in the desert, dressed in an orange prison-style jumpsuit. A masked “executioner” lords over him, wielding a knife.

The journalist speaks; the executioner speaks.

And then the horrific happens: The victim is beheaded. At the end, the video threatens the life of the British hostage, just as the Foley video threatened Sotloff’s life.

“It is almost the exact same choreography,” said Peter Neumann, a professor at King’s College London, comparing the ISIS videos showing the deaths of journalists Sotloff and Foley. A video of Foley’s execution was released last month.

The executioner appears to be the same person, and the location of the two killings also appears to be similar. Neumann suspects they took place in or around the Syrian city of Raqqa, one of the safest areas for ISIS.

‘I’m back, Obama’

Sotloff’s apparent executioner speaks in what sounds like the same British accent as the man who purportedly killed Foley.

He’s dressed identically in both videos, head to toe in black, with a face mask and combat boots. He appears to be of similar build and height. He waves a knife in his left hand, as did the militant in the video of Foley’s death.

And then, there are his actual words.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” the executioner says in the second video. “Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The SITE Intelligence group says there’s no question the same masked fighter appears in both videos.

After Foley’s death, the British ambassador to the United States said that experts in his country were close to identifying the killer. He has not yet been named.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


    • Say What

      Who was in charge when Osama Bin Laden was found and killed? Who has ordered more drone kills than any Republican President? President Obama has done more than his predecessors! You have a right to your own opinion, but not your own facts!

      • Branko Pezdi

        It was the U.S. military who found and killed Bin Laden after years of effort, not Obama. All Obama did was not shut down the effort (shockingly). Obama has lost Iraq and is losing Afghanistan, American lives and money completely squandered. Obama’s pink lines have enabled and strengthened an unprecedented rise of radical Islamic terrorism that is a hundred times more powerful, influential, and threatening than Al Qaeda ever was. All of the world’s scumbags are now rampaging, secure in the knowledge that the weakest and most incompetent of all Presidents will never get off the golf course to do his job. This is a President who refuses even to acknowledge that a significant portion of the Muslim world is at war with the West, a war they are waging to the death with no compromise. Drone strikes are no way to wage a war, much less win it. This is a President who considers Israel and conservatives/Republicans as his only enemies.
        What continues to be so laughingly pathetic is your pitiful and blind defense on the most sordid of ideological grounds with zero facts of the stupidest, most incompetent, harmful and only anti-American of all Presidents. Obama’s foreign policy can be reduced to a handful of slogans:
        The Buck Stops There
        Lead From Behind
        Talk Softly and Carry a Golf Club
        No Boots on the Ground
        It’s Bush’s Fault

      • Say What

        Oh, poor old Blanko! The President (all Presidents) serves in a leadership position. That is why they are called the Commander in Chief! Using your logic (as crazy as it is) would mean that no president in history can take credit for anything done since all things are done by people that they lead. That would include your beloved President Reagan!

        Oh, and by the way, you did a very good job parroting the Fox News Channel’s buzz words and phrases — well done!

      • TruthLivesHere

        You seem to know a lot about Fox News. Do you secretly watch? Do you secretly want to know what’s really going on? Could it be you’ve realized that CNN and MSNBC is nothing but lapdog garbage spun by Obama’s media puppets?

      • Say What

        Yes, I do watch Fox News. As they say — know thy enemy! It would be irresponsible for me to comment on how misleading Fox News is unless I watch the propaganda that they send out to you lemmings!

      • freddies fashion mart

        I see you cant answer my question. so I will give you the ANSWER: The White House Advisor, on race relations , The Rev. Al Sharpton.

      • Michael

        Drone strikes that have killed hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians? Some of them being children?

        Over twice as many Americans have died in Afghanistan in Obama’s first term than during both of Bush’s.

      • Say What

        Michael, you are correct, but it is true only because President Bush went into Iraq (that had nothing to do with 9/11) rather than in Afghanistan (which did have something to do with 9/11). When President Obama got in charge he focused our resources towards those that were involved in 9/11 — Afghanistan!

  • Bob

    Maybe if we can convince Obama that ISIS is attacking unarmed black teens on the border, then he might secure the border and attack ISIS ? Hmm

  • Branko Pezdi

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

    —-H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

    Liberals read this and their unthinking knee jerk reaction is: “That explains George W. Bush.”

    Conservatives look at this this, reflect upon the current occupant of The White House and say: “That explains Democrat voters.”

  • Santiago Hernandez Olivas Herrera

    Justice will be served when the criminal-in-chief is Impeached. Get the Radical Muslim out of the peoples house!!! His stupidity is staggering!

  • Say What

    It is interesting to see that the American Taliban membership is well represented on this forum! Keep on hating — you make the terrorists proud!

  • Wes

    Say what, your delusional! Please google “Obama lies and scandals” and educate yourself before making yourself look so bad. Just open your mind to reallity, sum it all up and if you still think your right, we will all pray for you. It’s not hating, it’s not racist, it’s a collection of bad policies that are killing this country as we know it. Take off the blinders and wake up before it’s too late.

    • Say What

      Wes, it is you that is delusional if you think you can find real answers from Googling! You do need to pray, but for yourself!

  • Wes

    saywhat, i will no longer reply to you if you refuse to have an itelligent conversation. You choose to ignor facts and worship obama regardless what he does or doesn’t do, enjoy your entitlement life, but it won’t last forever.

    • Say What

      You are correct, I do refuse to see what you are calling facts! You choose to create your own facts (or find on a Google search a website that feeds your view) and hate President Obama regardless what he does or doesn’t do.

    • Ann dunham

      Wes , this say what ever, will always use the Saul Alinsky approach on any topic, just like his Master in the White House. same approach as Ms. Jarett and his advisor on race relations The Rev. Al Sharpton.

      • Say What

        Ann, thank you for giving birth to the greatest president in modern times. After all the haters are dead and gone, history will prove that your son is a great president!

      • Ann dunham

        say what , your welcome I also love my son, but I do not know for sure which one of my black boyfriends ,is this real father.

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