Rebels Sold Sotloff to ISIS, Family Spokesman Says

Jewish-American journalist Steven Sotloff was kidnapped by a so-called moderate rebel faction and then immediately sold to ISIS, the family’s spokesman said.

Barak Barfi in an interview Monday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper said the jihadist group Islamist State, or ISIS, paid between $25,000 and $50,000 for Sotloff after the rebels set up a fake checkpoint at the border. He said his information came from what he called “sources on the ground” in Syria.

Barfi, who said he spoke by phone with Sotloff immediately after Sotloff crossed over from Turkey to Syria, called Sotloff and slain American journalist James Foley “pawns” of the U.S. intelligence community and the White House.

Both Foley and Sotloff, who also had Israeli citizenship, were shown being beheaded by a British assassin in videos released in the last month by ISIS as a “warning” to the United States to halt airstrikes against the group in Iraq.

Barfi told Cooper that the families were not kept regularly informed by the government and that the hostages were stationary for several months, despite U.S. assertions that the hostages were moved frequently.

“The administration could have done more, they could have helped us, they could have seen them through,” Barfi said.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Rebels Sold Sotloff to ISIS, Family Spokesman Says

Thank you!

This article has been sent!