President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the killers of American journalist Steven Sotloff will be brought to justice.
Whatever these murderers think they will achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven ... they have already failed," Obama said of the ISIS militant group behind the beheading. "We will not forget. Our reach is long. Justice will be served."
Calling the murder of journalist Steven Sotloff a "horrific act of violence," President Obama extended the condolences of the nation to the family of slain.
Speaking from Tallinn, Estonia, Obama said that the United States "will not be intimidated" by this murder or that of journalist James Foley.
"Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget that our reach is long and that justice will be served," the president said.
A video showing Sotloff being beheaded by ISIS is authentic, U.S. officials said early Wednesday.
The Islamic militant group released the video Tuesday.
It shows the second beheading of an American journalist in two weeks, and blames President Barack Obama's decision to conduct airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq for the killing.
"The U.S. intelligence community has analyzed the recently released video ... and has reached the judgment that it is authentic," said Caitlin Hayden, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council. "We will continue to provide updates as they are available,"
In the video, Sotloff kneels in the desert, dressed in an orange prison-style jumpsuit. A masked "executioner" lords over him, wielding a knife.
The journalist speaks; the executioner speaks.
And then the horrific happens: the victim is beheaded.
"It is almost the exact same choreography," said Peter Neumann, a professor at King's College London, comparing ISIS videos showing the deaths of journalists Sotloff and James Foley. A video of Foley's execution was released last month.
The executioner appears to be the same person. The location of the two killings also appears to be similar.
Neumann suspects they took place in or around the Syrian city of Raqqa, one of the safest areas for ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.
'I'm back, Obama'
Sotloff's apparent executioner speaks in what sounds like the same British accent as the man who purportedly killed Foley.
He's dressed identically in both videos, head to toe in black, with a face mask and combat boots. He appears to be of similar build and height. He waves a knife in his left hand, as did the militant in the video of Foley's death.
And then, there are his actual words.
"I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State," the executioner says in the second video. "Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."
At the end, the video threatens the life of a British captive, just as the Foley video threatened Sotloff's life.
The SITE Intelligence group says there's no question the same masked fighter appears in both videos.
Following Foley's death, the British ambassador to the United States said that experts in his country were close to identifying his killer. He has not yet been named.