US intelligence analysts have confirmed the video of ISIS beheading journalist James Foley as authentic, and identified a second kidnapped journalist, Steven Sotloff, in the video.
Sotloff is a freelance journalist for Time and other publications and was abducted near the Syria/Turkey border in August 2013.
“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” said a masked man in the video posted on social media sites, speaking English with a British accent as he held a prisoner the video named as Steven Sotloff.
British and US intelligence agencies are working together to identify the voice on the video and are looking for clues that can help pinpoint where the video was filmed.
National security experts and lawmakers agree that Obama's next move should be bold and decisive. From Fox News:
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called the “brutal execution” of a hostage “the clearest indication to date that ISIL has declared war on the United States.”
“We have to be taking severe military action. We do have the ability to start walking back ISIS, we can't wait,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a former military intelligence officer.
Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, raised the same issue. “What we've seen with this video is the character of the Islamic State. Do you want that to continue to exist and thrive and grow and be able to threaten other Americans?”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), applauded this week's success in helping the Kurds retake Mosul Dam, but feels US actions in the area need to be part of a “bigger strategy.”
“That...ought to get us off our backsides and get to work on dismantling this organization. It's dangerous.”
President Obama's response, in a press conference from Martha's Vineyard, was a call for global unity in confronting ISIS and laid a good portion of the burden on the Iraqis to “expel these terrorists from their communities.”
The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done.
From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.
However, shortly after the press conference ended, President Obama was back on the links.
Steven Sotloff, and other Americans who have been captured by ISIS over the last two years, are waiting for American leadership in completely annihilating ISIS so it cannot threaten innocents of any religion or ethnicity ever again.