Here’s the transcript of the video showing Steven Sotloff’s reported execution


Steven Sotloff, wearing the the blue vest, is seen here in a photo talking to Libyan rebels while reporting from there in June 2011. He was kidnapped by militants in Syria in 2013, and reportedly beheaded in a video released Tuesday. (Photo by Etienne de Malglaive via Getty Images)

Steven Sotloff, the second U.S. journalist seen in the video of James Foley’s murder by Islamic State militants last month, was beheaded in a new video obtained by a group that tracks the online postings of militant groups.

The news was distributed by the SITE Intelligence Group on Tuesday afternoon. As in the video of Foley’s execution, the militants describe their action as retaliation for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State, which controls swaths of both Iraq and Syria.

Sotloff, of Florida, was abducted while reporting in Syria in 2013, sources told Checkpoint last month. He had reported from several other dangerous countries, including Yemen and Libya.

Here is the transcript of the latest video, titled “A Second Message to America.” The video itself will not be published on Checkpoint due to its brutality:

Steven Sotloff: I am Steven Joel Sotloff. I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing before you. And now this time for my message:

Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life. Am I not an American citizen? You’ve spent billions of U.S. tax payers dollars and we’ve lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so where is the people’s interest in reigniting this war?

From what little I know about foreign policy, I remember a time you could not win an election without promising to bring our troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan and to close down Guantanamo. Here you are now, Obama, nearing the end of your term, and having achieving none of the above, and deceivingly marching us the American people in the blazing fire.

Unidentified executioner: I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State, because of your insistence on continuing your bombings and [unclear] on Mosul Dam, despite our serious warnings. You, Obama, have but to gain from your actions but another American citizen. So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people…

We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.

The militants showed another captive, British citizen David Cawthorne Haines, in the video. Like the video of Foley’s execution, it is recorded in a desert area.

Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

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Dan Lamothe · September 2