By William Maclean DUBAI (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group released a video on Tuesday purporting to show the beheading of a second American hostage, journalist Steven Sotloff, raising the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. A masked figure in the video seen by Reuters also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State".
The so-called "Islamic State" has murdered a second American reporter, releasing another video Tuesday showing a masked militant with a British accent cutting the throat of a US captive. In the latest footage, the 31-year-old reporter Steven Sotloff calmly addresses the camera to say he is a victim of President Barack Obama's decision to press on with air strikes against the jihadists. "I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State," the black-clad jihadist says, wielding a combat knife and speaking in a London accent. This was a reference to a video issued last month in which US journalist James Foley was murdered, again by a suspected British foreign fighter, and in almost identical fashion.
Steven Sotloff, the second US journalist murdered by Islamic State militants, was a respected reporter as well known for his irreverent humor as for his sensitive approach to Middle East conflicts. "He is a journalist who made a journey to cover the story of Muslims suffering at the hands of tyrants," Sotloff's mother, Shirley said in a last ditch appeal for mercy last week. In a video showing the beheading of fellow US journalist James Foley, militants had warned Sotloff would be next if President Barack Obama did not halt raids against the Islamic State in Iraq. On Tuesday, a video released by the same jihadist group showed the murder of 31-year-old Sotloff, just over a year after he had been taken captive while crossing the frontier from Turkey to Syria.