The mother of another American journalist being held by ISIS is making a personal appeal to the group's leader for her son's release. The Islamic State says Steven Sotloff will be the next to die if the U.S. doesn't stop military strikes in Iraq.


The mother of former UCF student and freelance journalist Steven Sotloff released a video pleading to ISIS on Wednesday to spare her son's life.

Shirley Sotloff called upon Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, to spare her son's life — just days after Syrian militants released another American journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, who had been held captive.

"I am Shirley Sotloff, my son Steven is in your hands," Shirley Sotloffsaid in the video. "Steven is a loyal and generous son, brother and grandson. He's an honorable man and has always tried to help the weak."

Last week, a video was released by ISIS, titled "A Message to America," that showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley. At the end of the video, the Islamic extremist brought Sotloff on-camera and threatened his life.

The video was in retaliation to bombings by U.S. forces, which targeted ISIS strongholds in Iraq.

"We have not seen Steven in over a year, and we miss him very much," Shirley Sotloff said in the video. She continued, "As a mother I ask your justice to be merciful and to not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life, and to follow the example of the prophet Muhammad, who protected people of the book."

Sotloff attended UCF from 2002 until 2004. He then left the university and began to pursue heading to the Middle East. He was taken hostage more than a year ago, and the video released last week was the first time the family had seen or heard from Sotloff since his capture.

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