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Intelligence analysts have concluded that the beheading videos of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Islamist extremists weren't recorded at the same time, the State Department said Wednesday.
There had been speculation that the executions were conducted at the same time and that the video of Sotloff's killing was withheld until Tuesday for propaganda effects based on similarities in the videos and the presence of someone who appeared to be the same British-accented man in both. But Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, told reporters Wednesday: "We've already determined that the videos were not shot at the same time, with the video of Mr. Sotloff being filmed after the Foley video."
Experts and journalists had already widely noted details that suggested that the videos weren't contemporaneous: Sotloff made reference to U.S. airstrikes on suspected ISIS positions at the Iraqi town of Amirli — which didn't happen until Sunday — and his beard and hair were longer than they had been in the Foley video two weeks earlier.
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— Catherine Chomiak and M. Alex Johnson