Terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS executed American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley on video.
Steven Sotloff, the American journalist who was captured by the Islamic terrorist organization ISIL last August, is most likely the victim in a new video released by ISIS on Sept. 2. The video shows a man who is believed to be Sotloff being decapitated by a member of ISIS.
The executioner addresses President Obama in the video, saying that this is the price the United States has to pay for their attacks on the organization.
The video comes just weeks after ISIS released a video showing the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.
“Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost are with his family and those who worked with him,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in response to the killing of Sotloff, according to CNN.
ISIS is a Muslim Jihadist group of the Sunni branch. They have claimed religious authority over all Muslims in the world, and aspire to control most of the Muslim-populated areas of the Middle East. They are a self-defined Muslim caliphate and currently occupy land in Syria and Iraq.
Professor of Political Science at California Lutheran University, Dr. Herbert Gooch explains that ISIS are so radical that even Al-Qaeda has denounced them. “They seem to be willing to go even further than Al-Qaeda. There appears to be no ending to their methods,” Gooch said.
Gooch said the fear of ISIS sticking in America is legitimate but might be exaggerated. “There is a significant amount of westerners fighting for ISIL. They can travel in and out of the country legally. That is obviously a concern,” Gooch said.
“ISIL is more willing to hold territory than Al-Qaeda, who are more of an international strike force,” Gooch said, talking about the caliphate ISIL has claimed.
“I think people are longing for a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging,” said Dr. Marylie Gerson, professor of Psychology at California Lutheran University.
“People joining such groups as ISIL might be desperate, lost and searching for a purpose. If they can join a group that promise them that they are on a route that God would wish, that can give them a strong sense of purpose,” Gerson said.
“These groups can become a substitute family for the individuals joining. That is compelling to people in the same ways gangs are compelling to some people,” Gerson said.
In President Barack Obama’s speech about what the United States plans to do in regards to ISIS on Sept. 10, President Obama made it clear that ISIS is not a real Islamic organization.
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” Obama said.
In his speech to the nation, President Obama laid out his strategy for defeating ISIS. Obama mentioned using air force, boots on the ground and training Syrian rebel forces, while stressing that this is not another Iraq war.
Obama stated that “any time we take military action, there are risks involved.”
According to President Obama, defeating ISIS is a long-term project.
“It will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL,” President Obama said in a statement on ISIL from the White House on Sept. 10.
Editor’s Note: We apologize for the misspelling of Dr. Marylie Gerson’s name, which has now been corrected.