Sotloff Family Remembers Slain Journalist As 'Gentle Soul'

"Steve had a gentle soul that this world will be without," Barak Barfi, a family spokesman, said. 

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A spokesman for the family of slain U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff remembered him on Wednesday as a "gentle soul" who sacrificed his life to bring stories of the oppressed to the world.

Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, delivered a brief televised statement on behalf of the family grieving for the journalist beheaded  by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

"Steve had a gentle soul that this world will be without," Barfi said.

ISIL released the video of Sotloff's brutal death on Tuesday, two weeks after its videotaped beheading of photojournalist James Foley sparked international outrage. Sotloff had appeared on the Foley tape, and some U.S. officials believe he was killed at the same time, with the release of the video delayed only for propaganda purposes.

President Obama confirmed Sotloff's killing while speaking Wednesday morning in Estonia. He called it a "horrific act of violence."

Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served."

Barfi said Sotloff was "no hero" who simply strove to give a voice to people in war-torn lands.

"He was no war junkie. He did not want to be Lawrence of Arabia," he said. "He ultimately sacrificed his life to bring their stories to the world."

Barfi said Sotloff never gave in to his captors, and that the family would "emerge from this ordeal."

"We will not allow our enemy to hold us hostages with the sole weapon they possess: Fear," he said.

The Israeli government disclosed that Sotloff, an observant Jew, was also a dual citizen of Israel. An Israeli newspaper reported that he kept his faith secret from his captors, even faking illness so he could fast on Yom Kippur.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.