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Mum's plea to Islamic militiants to free her son

The mother of a US freelance journalist held hostage and threatened with death by Islamic militants has pleaded for his release in a video message aimed directly at his captors.

Shirley Sotloff, who lives in the Miami area, addressed the leader of the Islamic State in seeking the return of Steven Sotloff (31). Ms Sotloff said that her son shouldn't pay for US government actions in the Middle East.

"I want what every mother wants, to live to see her children's children," she said. "I plead with you to grant me this."

Ms Sotloff cited by name the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has described himself as a caliph intending to lead the Muslim world.

She asks him to show mercy and follow the example of the prophet Muhammad in protecting people of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.

"You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you to spare his life," Ms Sotloff said.

Mr Sotloff was last seen in August 2013 in Syria. He was threatened with death by the militants on a video unless the US stopped air strikes on the group in Iraq. The same video showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.

The new video marked the first detailed public comments the family has made since Steven Sotloff went missing.


Several US officials said they have been working behind the scenes to try to secure his release.

On his Twitter feed, Mr Sotloff described himself as a "stand-up philosopher from Miami. Currently in Libya".