An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State (IS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 2, 2014, purportedly shows 31-year-old US freelance writer Steven Sotloff dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape speaking to the camera before being beheaded by a masked militant (R) (AFP Photo / HO)
Although the parents of slain journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were warned of possible federal charges if they paid a ransom to their jihadist captors, the US Senate has approved a reward for information on the killers.
Just before leaving for a seven-week recess, the US Senate unanimously passed legislation that allocates $10 million for any information leading to the capture of individuals who participated in the beheading of two American journalists this month.
Members of the Islamic State, a Sunni militant group that has captured large swaths of territory in northern Iraq and Syria, published videos in August and September that allege to depict the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, two American journalists who were abducted and eventually executed by jihadists.
The actual moment of the beheadings, however, was censored from the videos, a point that has perplexed some experts given the purported savagery of the militants, who have even been accused of beheading Christian babies. In any case, US Senators came out in unanimous support for the reward placed on the killers.
“One way we can honor the memories of James Foley and Steven Sotloff is to bring their evil murderers to justice, which this measure will help do,” Senator Marco Rubio said Friday.
Rubio emphasized it was vital to reinforce the message “that the United States will work tirelessly to ensure that the deaths of these beloved journalists do not go unpunished.”
The next stop for the legislation is the House of Representatives before it heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature, which is unlikely to happen until after November’s mid-term elections.
A man holds up a sign in memory of U.S. journalist James Foley during a protest against the Assad regime in Syria in Times Square in New York August 22, 2014 (Reuters / Carlo Allegri)
Bounty allowed, but not ransoms
The announcement of a multi-million dollar bounty for the killers will likely prompt criticism considering that past efforts to secure the release of Foley and Sotloff with ransoms to their captors were rejected by US officials.
Read more at RT News