Kimball Union mourns murder of alum by militant group
A statement released by Sotloff’s family through a spokesman indicated the family considered the video to be authentic.
The purported executioner appeared to be the same British-accented man who appeared in an Aug. 19 video showing the killing of New-Hampshire based journalist James Foley, and it showed a similar desert setting. In both videos, the captives wore orange jumpsuits.
Foley, whose family lives in Rochester, was kidnapped in Syria two years ago. He had previously been held captive for 44 days in Libya in 2011.
“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State, because of your insistence on continuing your bombings and in Amerli, Zumar and the Mosul Dam, despite our serious warnings,” the masked man said in the video, addressing President Barack Obama. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”
Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, appealed last Wednesday in a videotaped message to Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appealing for her son’s release.
The Kimball Union Academy community is mourning the death of Sotloff, who graduated from the New Hampshire prep school in 2002. The Florida native came to the school in the Plainfield village of Meriden in 2000 as a high school sophomore.
He is remembered for revitalizing the student newspaper, The Kimball Union, and was recognized for his efforts with the Lawton Award for Journalism at graduation.
In 2011, Sotloff shared his experiences as a journalist in Libya working for a multi-national news agency with the school through the Kimball Union Magazine.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, expressed her sympathy to Sotloff’s family in a written statement Tuesday afternoon.
“These despicable acts further underscore the threat that ISIS represents to not only Americans, but also to people of all faiths and nationalities who stand against ISIS’ depraved and oppressive ideology,” Ayotte said. “ISIS’ barbaric murder of Americans must not go unanswered, and the President must produce a strategy without delay to defeat ISIS.”
“The brutal murder of Steven Sotloff by ISIL militants is yet another abhorrent act of terrorism and a tragedy for those who knew and loved Steven,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Steven was an innocent journalist whose life was horrifically taken in another cowardly act of terrorism that sadly emphasizes the growing threat of ISIL to the region, Americans abroad and the world. ISIL must be stopped, and we must use every tool at our disposal, short of introducing ground forces in combat roles, to put an end to the threat they pose to our national security.”
“Nations must work together to stop the evil of ISIL,” Shea-Porter said in a statement.
A U.S. government source told Reuters that a criminal investigation being conducted by the Justice Department into the killing of Foley was certain to be extended to include Sotloff.
“We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.
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