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U.S. journalist`s mother pleas for his release

Posted August. 29, 2014 04:43,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00


The American mother had no choice but to plea the head of the Islamic terrorist group, calling him “caliph,” because her son’s life was in his hands.

Shirley Sotloff plead in a video message to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an Islamic Sunni militant group which threatened to behead her son, Steven Sotloff, a 31-year-old American journalist on Wednesday. Beheading James Foley, an American journalist, on Aug. 19, ISIS said, “It’s up to President Barack Obama’s decision. Unless the U.S. stops attacks in Iraq, we’ll also kill Sotloff.”

“I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Quraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State,” Sotloff’s mother said in a 100-second long video message on YouTube. “You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”

Mr. Baghdadi declared a caliphate this year but his claim to authority has not been recognized by most Muslims. But Ms. Sotloff addressed Mr. Baghdadi as caliph of the Muslim world to save her son. Mr. Baghdadi is a former teacher and is a terrorist considered as next Osama bin Laden. Coincidentally, Ms. Sotloff is a teacher in Miami, Florida.

In the video with Arabic subtitles, Mrs. Sotloff asked for the release of her son, mentioning the Quran in a sad and calm voice. “Since Steven’s capture (in Syria in August last year), I’ve learned a lot about Islam, ” she said. “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammad, who protected People of the Book.” She added, “I’ve learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be hold responsible for the sins of others. Steven has no control over the actions of the U.S. government. He is an innocent journalist.” She also said, “I want what every mother wants.”

Experts said, “If Mr. Baghdadi watches the video, he would be in a dilemma over executing Mr. Sotloff." Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a Middle East terrorism expert and author of a book on the legacy of Osama bin Laden, said at an interview with the New York Times, “This presents him with a dilemma — it is acknowledging his authority and it is also challenging him on religious grounds.”