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Steven Sotloff: The kidnapped journalist no one knew about

Steven Sotloff: The Kidnapped Journalist No One Knew About

Steven Sotloff went from the journalist whose disappearance went virtually uncovered to the man who's now the focus of American media coverage of ISIS.

Sotloff, an accomplished freelance journalist with extensive experience covering tensions in the Middle East, disappeared in August 2013 near the Syrian-Turkish border as he tried to cover the Syrian conflict and the growing threat of the Islamic militants. He appeared in an ISIS video released earlier this week showing the beheading of another journalist, James Foley, in which ISIS said Sotloff was next if the U.S. didn't stop airstrikes against the militants in Iraq.

Family friends say Sotloff's family has suffered silently since he disappeared, not knowing if he was alive until that video was released that signaled his death may be imminent.

"He's still alive, so there's nothing to say," his mother told WFOR.

Sotloff's parents live in the Pinecrest suburb of Miami, and local reporters say police have staked out the home to guard the family's wishes for privacy.

The family's silence and general lack of media coverage until this point appears to be deliberate, and local politicians have confirmed they've been working with Sotloff's family and the U.S. State Department to secure his release for several months.

"Everyone is very scared right now," Sotloff's college roommate Emerson Lotzia told WTVJ earlier this week. "No one really knows what to think of this situation because we never really thought that we would have one of our friends in this situation."

While Sotloff's one-time roommate was willing to give interviews to local media earlier in the week, by Thursday night he began declining interviews at the request of Sotloff's family, according to USAToday. It's not hard to see why.

ISIS' brutality has been well-documented since the militant group swept through northern Iraq early this summer in a blitz offensive. The group took both U.S.-supplied military equipment from the Iraqi Army and money from banks.

A contributor for The Daily Beast says he sat down for a drink with Sotloff just days before the journalist disappeared. He was concerned because sources indicated another Canadian journalist new to war coverage wasn't being careful.

Ben Taub writes militants were watching the Canadian journalist and a fixer paid to get him into Syria to cover the conflict. While Taub says he convinced the Canadian journalist to leave the country, Sotloff later used the same fixer and was kidnapped.

Several media outlets now report ISIS demanded a $130 million ransom for the return of Foley. The U.S. military says it conducted a rescue operation that resulted in a gunfight with militants, but the rescue team determined Foley and Sotloff were not in the location they targeted.

Join the discussion

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manfrombighorn August 22 2014 at 3:14 PM

Face it, people. Obama is s-t-u-p-i-d. Not only him, but also Hillary ... we must never ever elect Hillary, or we would be dealing out-of-control situations like this. This is so sad that Steven Sotloff could be the next victim. What we need to do with the ISIS is ... wipe 'em off the earth. End of story.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
10 replies
Wise-1 August 22 2014 at 2:56 PM

YES because America does not negotiate with terrorist's----> HOLY CRAP. I forgot. barry traded 1 deserter for 5 high ranking terrorist's. MY BAD

Flag Reply +24 rate up
6 replies
partsautomall August 22 2014 at 2:20 PM

anyone else not feeling to warm and fuzzy about Obama being in office while all this is going on?

Flag Reply +22 rate up
8 replies
jnel713 August 22 2014 at 2:42 PM

We seriously need a real leader now, more than ever before these animals infect and start to destroy in the US

Flag Reply +22 rate up
1 reply
Lance jnel713 August 22 2014 at 7:23 PM

I hate to tell you this but we already have these scum people here.And one is in the white house

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Still August 22 2014 at 3:15 PM

Blow them all up if they do not release him. It's time to play hard ball and mean it.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
3 replies
Marven Gardens August 22 2014 at 2:17 PM

All Muslim terrorists currently in U.S. custody need to be executed in the same fashion as James Foley. All future Muslim terrorists who are apprehended need also face the same demise. They also need to be paraded around publicly in shocking pink garbs before being beheaded.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
9 replies
PHANTOM6838 August 22 2014 at 3:41 PM

Its time every american citizen even if you cant carry arm thereselves and protect there familys and neighbors..And learn not trust Obama

Flag Reply +15 rate up
6 replies
Steveroonie August 22 2014 at 3:16 PM

I agree with Marvin Gardens. But Americans need to be aware that we cannot trade terrorists for hostages. If you travel overseas, do so at your own risk. We can't afford the 5 to 1 trades.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
scififan7 Steveroonie August 22 2014 at 5:23 PM

Amen to that, steveroonie! NO WAY have I a desire to travel ANYWHERE overseas.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ranger197172 Steveroonie August 23 2014 at 12:13 AM

I travel extensively and enjoy it, however i would never go to Africa or any muslim associated country. Going back to Vietnam next month. Be nice to see it without getting shot at.

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trb2244 August 22 2014 at 2:28 PM

These scum need to be stopped now, whatever it takes; they are hardly "jayvee" as some celebrity characterized them...

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
scififan7 trb2244 August 22 2014 at 5:26 PM

Most of those "celebrities" never even finished HS. Most couldn't find the Middle East on a Google map.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
frankiegallo33 August 23 2014 at 6:59 AM

THis is the $hit that happens when Americans give their vote to someone because of his race. The same $hit will continue if Americans give their vote to a woman because of her gender.
WE need a check list that neither Obama nor Hillary could not get even 1 check.
Love of America the way it is
Equality not special privileges
Obama & Hillary can't make it to 1st base to even make a good dog catcher. ( apologies to dog catchers)

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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