A still image from the video. Photo from Reuters
A video released by the Islamic State militant group
purporting to show the beheading of American journalist
Steven Sotloff appears to be authentic although U.S.
officials have yet to formally confirm its validity, sources
familiar with the matter said.
American officials said U.S. intelligence agencies were
making urgent checks to investigate the alleged Sotloff
beheading video to determine conclusively whether it is
The video follows a similar incident last month with the
beheading of U.S. writer James Foley, who was also held
captive in Syria since 2012.
U.S. experts have thought since shortly after Foley's death
that the militants holding him had also likely killed
Sotloff, who was shown, still alive, in the video the Islamic
State released of Foley's killing on August 19.
The militant group released the latest video earlier on
Tuesday (local time), the U.S.-based SITE monitoring service
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a
briefing just as reports of the video were made public that
he could not immediately verify the video, but that any such
video would be analyzed very carefully.
State Dept spokeswoman Jen Psaki, in a separate briefing,
said U.S. intelligence services would "work as quickly as
possible to determine its authenticity."
"If the video is genuine we are sickened by this brutal act
taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our
hearts go out to the Sotloff family," she told reporters.