A man militants claim is journalist Steven Sotloff is shown in a video. / Islamic State
Steven Joel Sotloff is the second American journalist being held by Islamic State militants who threaten to execute him. Sotloff appeared in a video released Tuesday called "A message to America." The video shows the beheading of freelance photographer James Foley in a revenge killing after U.S. military action in Iraq. The video's narrator said Sotloff faces the same fate if the military action does not end.
Sotloff is a freelance journalist who has written for TIME magazine and other publications, including National Interest and Foreign Policy. He went missing in Syria in August 2013.
A Florida native, Sotloff grew up in Miami. He graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., where he received a journalism award, according to Manchester TV station WMUR. He went on to attend the University of Central Florida.
Sotloff has covered the Benghazi attacks in Libya and the war in Syria. His most recent article on TIME's website is dated Nov. 26, 2012, and details assassination attempts on Libyan officials.
A spokesperson from Time Inc. declined to comment on Sotloff when contacted by USA TODAY.
In an interview with NBC Miami, Sotloff's college friend Emerson Lotzia said, "Everyone is scared right now. No one really knows what to think of this situation, because we never really thought that we would ever have one of our friends in this situation."
Sotloff's Twitter feed shows he is a Miami Heat basketball fan. He describes himself as a "stand up philosopher" in his Twitter bio.
An open petition to the White House, which has more than 3,000 signatures, seeks immediate action to save Sotloff "by any means necessary."
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