WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, in Estonia on Wednesday, said the U.S. confirmed the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and will take steps against the Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL. “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.”
Obama made his comments during a joint press conference with Estonia President Ilves, noting the brutal Sotloff murder came after the militant group also killed another U.S. journalist, Jim Foley, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a former Post-Tribune reporter.
RELATED: Transcript: Obama, Estonia’s Ilves joint press conference Obama guidance, press schedule Sept. 3, 2014 — with Baltic leaders U.S. Sen. Kirk on ISIS: Obama should ‘bomb the hell out them’
Obama: Finally, I want to say that today the prayers of the American people are with the family of a devoted and courageous journalist, Steven Sotloff. Overnight, our government determined that, tragically, Steven was taken from us in a horrific act of violence. We cannot even begin to imagine the agony that everyone who loved Steven is feeling right now, especially his mother, his father and his younger sister. So today, our country grieves with them.
Like Jim Foley before him, Steve’s life stood in sharp contrast to those who have murdered him so brutally. They make the absurd claim that they kill in the name of religion, but it was Steven, his friends say, who deeply loved the Islamic world. His killers try to claim that they defend the oppressed, but it was Steven who traveled across the Middle East, risking his life to tell the story of Muslim men and women demanding justice and dignity.
Whatever these murderers think they’ll achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed. They have failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism. We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists. And 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.