WH Reacts to Video Claiming to Show Beheading of 2nd American Journalist

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | September 2, 2014 | 2:10 PM EDT

SITE Intel Group tweeted:

When Josh Earnest, White House spokesperson, was asked about the news, he 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."


Earnest: "This is something that the administration has been watching very carefully since this threat against his life was made a few weeks ago. Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost are with Mr. Sotloff's family, and those who worked with him. The United States has dedicated significant time and resources to trying to rescue Mr. Sotloff."

"I'm not in a position to confirm the authenticity of the video or the reports since I just walked out here," he added. "If there is a video that has been released, it is something that will be analyzed very carefully by the U.S. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity."

Sotloff worked for Time. Sotloff was shown briefly in the Foley beheading video - the ISIS terrorist says: "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision." Last week, Sotloff's mother released her own video, begging for the life of her son.

In his statement on Foley's beheading, Obama failed to mention Sotloff's capture or the imminent threat to his life.

The Independent reports that the video released today by the Islamic State begins, as the first video did, with an excerpt from a speech by President Obama. The video then reads: “A second message to America” and the same IS terrorist from the first video says:

I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State...despite our serious warnings."

He then appears to be behead Mr Sotloff.

The footage ends with the threat of presenting a British hostage, and issuing a warning to “back-off and leave our people alone.”