Steven Sotloff Gave Voice to Voiceless, Family Says

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Steven Sotloff, the American journalist beheaded by Islamist extremists in a video released this week, was no hero but simply a man who strove to tell the stories of ordinary people in the Arab world, his family said Wednesday.

Sotloff, 31, who wrote about conflict in the Middle East for Time magazine and other publications, "was no war junkie," Barak Barfi, a spokesperson for Sotloff's family, said Wednesday. "He did not want to be a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia. He merely wanted to give voice for those who had none, from the Libyan doctor in Misrata who struggled to provide psychological services to children ravaged by war to the Syrian plumber who risked his life by crossing regime lines to purchase medicines."

Barfi said Sotloff and other foreigners being detained by the Islamist group ISIS drew strength from James Foley, another American journalist, whose beheading by ISIS was publicized in a video two weeks ago. "Like Steve, he suffered, but his jailers never broke him," Barfi said. "He was an inspiration to others in that dark prison far from this country's freedoms."