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U.S. freelance journalist Steven Sotloff visits Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain, in 2010. / Mazen Mahdi, epa

Journalist Steven Sotloff held dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship but concealed that during the year he was held captive before Islamic State terrorists beheaded him, Israel's government confirmed Wednesday.

The grandson of Holocaust survivors, he immigrated from Florida to Israel in 2005 and studied at a private university, the Interdisciplinary Center, Israeli media reported.

After he was abducted Aug. 4, 2013, following his crossing into Syria from Turkey, his heritage and links to Israel were deleted from the Internet and social media. It wasn't clear whether the Israeli government acted to "sanitize" his digital footprints to keep Islamic extremists in the dark.

A fellow hostage told the Hebrew daily Yediot Acharonot that Sotloff fasted last year on Yom Kippur and was able to regularly pray without tipping off his captors.

"He told them he was sick and did not want to eat, even though that day we were served eggs," the former hostage said. "He used to pray secretly in the direction of Jerusalem. He would see in which direction (his Muslim captors) were praying and then adjust the angle."

Sotloff's murder was contained in a video released Tuesday by the Islamic State and confirmed authentic Wednesday. Two weeks ago, the terror group executed another U.S. journalist, James Foley.

The revelation of Sotloff's dual nationality came as President Obama said the United States would "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Sotloff was citizen of both USA, Israel

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