Last Updated Sep 2, 2014 2:43 PM EDT
BEIRUT – An Internet video posted online Tuesday purported to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), just days after Sotloff’s mother had pleaded for his release. The extremist group called it retribution for continued U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.
Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by ISIS that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against the backdrop of an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the group in Iraq.
In the video distributed Tuesday and entitled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he was purportedly beheaded by an ISIS fighter.
CBS News could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity. The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence.
In a two-sentence statement Tuesday, family spokesman Barak Barfi said Sotloff’s family “knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately.”
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