IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Who Is Steven Joel Sotloff, Second American Journalist Threatened by ISIS?

Steven Joel Sotloff, 31, grew up in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida.
Get more newsLiveonNBC News Now

The second American journalist whose life is being threatened by ISIS militants is Steven Joel Sotloff, who has written for Time magazine and other outlets and disappeared a year ago in Syria. A video obtained by NBC News shows an ISIS militant beheading another American journalist, James Wright Foley. An ISIS fighter then stands next to a man identified as Sotloff and threatens his life unless the United States calls off airstrikes against the group.

Sotloff, 31, grew up in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida in the early 2000s. He has a Twitter account, and last posted Aug. 3, 2013, just before he disappeared. He has posted about turmoil in the Middle East and about his love of the NBA's Miami Heat.

Sotloff has also done freelance work for the publications National Interest and MediaLine. For Time, he wrote about the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, about the Syrian civil war and about post-Gadhafi Libya.

Syria is the most dangerous country for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 69 journalists have been killed covering the civil war there, and at least 80 have been kidnapped, the organization says.

“Everyone is scared right now,” a college friend of Sotloff’s, Emerson Lotzia, told NBC Miami. “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.”

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials had determined that the video is authentic.


— Erin McClam with The Associated Press