UK & World News

  • 4 September 2014, 2:02

Beheaded Journalist 'Was No War Junkie'

The family of an American journalist beheaded by Islamist militants have paid tribute to his life, saying he was a "man who tried to find good in a world of darkness".

The Islamic State (IS) released footage of Steven Sotloff's killing - with a warning that a British hostage will be next.

The 31-year-old is seen dressed in an orange jumpsuit in the video - titled A Second Message To America.

Family spokesman Baral Barfi told reporters outside Mr Sotloff's home in Florida: "He was no war junkie. He did not want to be a modern day Lawrence of Arabia.

"He merely wanted to give voice to those who had none ... He ultimately sacrificed his life to bring their story to the world.

"Steve was no hero. Like all of us he was a mere man who tried to find good in a world of darkness. And if it did not exist, he tried to create it.

"He always sought to help those less privileged than himself, offering career services and precious contacts to newcomers in the region."

Mr Barfi spoke of Steven's love of South Park, junk food and Skyping his dad to talk about golf.

"Steve had a gentle soul that this world will be without. But his spirit will endure in our hearts," he added.

US President Barack Obama vowed that justice will be done against IS following Mr Sotloff's killing - the second American journalist to be beheaded by the group.

He said America would "not be intimidated" by IS violence and promised to "degrade and destroy" its forces.

Mr Sotloff, who had worked for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, was forced to read out a statement before he was killed.

Intelligence officials believe the killer is the same British man who murdered journalist James Foley on video two weeks ago.

Sky News is not naming the British captive - who is shown kneeling at knifepoint - at the request of his family.