Update, 1:20 p.m.: At a news conference this afternoon, Obama called the Islamic State a "cancer." He did not mention Sotloff by name and did not say specifically what his military plans were, but he vowed that ""The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless."
Original post, 12;20 p.m.: Yesterday, extremists from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, released a video showing the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley, of New Hampshire. In the video, they also showed Steven Sotloff, of Miami. Sotloff is shown on video explaining that his fate depends on whether President Obama continues bombings or not.
Sotloff is believed to have been captured in Syria last fall. He last used Twitter on August 3, 2013. On it, he declares himself a "stand-up philosopher from Miami." His bio also says "Currently in Libya. I've been published in TIME, National Interest, FP, CSM, The Diplomat, LWJ, & more." He alternately tweeted about Middle East politics and his love for the Miami Heat.
Steven's sister, Lauren Sotloff, lives in Miami, and her boyfriend, who goes by the name Castle Chris on Facebook, has started an online petition asking Obama to do everything in his power to keep Sotloff alive.
At noon today, the petition had 3,222 signatures.
The petition is simple. It explains, "Steven Sotloff is an American citizen and reporter with Time magazine who is believed to have gone missing in August of 2013" and that "on August 19, 2014 it was revealed that Steven is a captive of the Islamist terrorist organization ISIS. Steven appeared at the end of a video in which reporter James Foley was beheaded. In the video, Steven is seen at the end declaring that he will be next."
Reached by phone, Chris sounded exhausted and said he could not say anything beyond "no comment."
His Facebook page reads:
THIS GOES OUT TO ANYONE & EVERYONE THAT HAS A HEART & SOUL....
MY GF Lauren Sotloff's brother Steven Sotloff was taken hostage by ISIS on August 04 2013 & up to this point it has been all under wraps as due to a media blackout i or anyone else couldnt bring this to light,TIL NOW as it's gone public that JAmes Foley was beheaded in social media & they claim that if BARAK OBAMA doesn't stop the bombing ,Steven Sotloff is next. Listen i know im one to publicy things on the internet thru my many social media ,but this is problaly one of the most important post i will ever put up.
People please not only sign the following petition ,but PLEASE SHARE soo the more the better. Thank You in advance & pray for his safe return home."