Syria-Iraq: Steven Sotloff, a Jew fascinated by Islam

U.S. will not be intimidated, justice will be served, Obama says

03 September, 12:15

    freelance journalist Steven Sotloff  during a work trip inside Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain freelance journalist Steven Sotloff during a work trip inside Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain

    (ANSAmed) - NEW YORK - Steven Sotloff had travelled to the Middle East, attracted by the complexity of the region and the education he had received from his Jewish family, who had survived the Holocaust. Sotloff, 31, like the Catholic James Foley, the other US journalist beheaded by ISIS, belonged to one of the three confessions from the ''cradle of civilization'' in which cohabitation appears increasingly difficult.

    Sotloff, who appears in a video posted by intelligence website SITE allegedly showing his beheading, came from an observant family. His mother Shirley, who teaches at the nursery school of the Pinecrest synagogue, in a Miami suburb, is determined to preserve the memory of the Holocaust because her parents were survivors, according to her temple's biography. Religion played a role in the education of a young man with a passion for sports and journalism, but not in his political beliefs. After images of the reporter wearing an orange jumpsuit were published following Foley's barbaric beheading by ISIS, Sotloff's colleague Anne Marlowe wrote on Twitter that he was fascinated by the Islamic world and was fluent in Arabic and this was why he was under threat of becoming the next victim of a beheading.

    Sotloff was born and raised in Florida. Before his abduction, he had worked as a freelancer, reporting from Syria, Egypt, Libya, Turkey and Bahrain for Time, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs and the World Affairs Journal.

    His abduction, according to other colleagues, was a tragic consequence of a twist of fate: he was allegedly kidnapped because he had chosen as a local ''guide'' to take him into Syria someone whose identity had been ''burned'' by another foreign reporter who also wanted to cross the border from Turkey into the war-torn country but who was inexperienced. (ANSAmed).

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