The terrorist group ISIS released video that purportedly shows the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to the SITE Intel Group.
The two-and-half minute video shows what appears to be Sotloff, 31, in orange prisoner garb with a black-cloaked man next to him holding a knife in a desert landscape. Sotloff recites a statement in a strong, dispassionate voice towards U.S. President Barack Obama. Sotloff says he is personally “paying the price” for the United States’ foreign policy and intervention in Iraq.
An ISIS terrorist speaks near the end of the video, his voice apparently garbled by a voice shifter but with a slight British accent apparent.
“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State … despite our serious warnings,” the terrorist says.
The terrorist drives his knife into the neck of the prisoner before the camera cuts to black. The video then pans to a shot of the decapitated prisoner’s head on his body.
The video ends with the terrorist holding what they claim is another hostage, Briton David Cawthorne Haines, and warned governments to “back off” against ISIS. It was not immediately clear who Haines was.
ISIS released the video, called “A Second Message to America,” on Tuesday.
I’m not posting the video for the obvious reason that ISIS would like it to have as wide a distribution as possible.
As for the “Second Message to America”, from a Christian perspective, one of the major functions of government it to protect its citizens from harm and evil. In this situation, I think the best way to do that would be for the US to send its own clear message: punish ISIS by killing as many of their members as possible. Any Westerners who have joined ISIS should, if caught, have their citizenship revoked and be tried as traitors.
Since the mainline churches are so keen on justice, perhaps we can look forward to their support for strong government action; perhaps not. And I am waiting with bated breath for the throngs of Canadian Muslims clogging downtown Toronto to protest what is being done in the name of their religion.
As individual Christians, let us pray for the victims of ISIS, for Christians in the Middle East and for the work of Canon Andrew White – who is speaking at an ANiC church in Burlington next Sunday. Update: Canon White has just been diagnosed with acute hepatitis, so the visit has been postponed.