A second beheading of an American hostage – with warnings that a British hostage could be next – brings a fresh round of condemnations of the barbarity of Isis. Steven Sotloff appears to have been killed by Isis, with his British-accented killer accusing Barack Obama of an ‘arrogant foreign policy’ and citing his ‘insistence on continuing your bombings’. David Cameron tonight said:
‘If verified, this is a despicable and barbaric murder. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Sotloff’s family and friends tonight as they deal with this appalling and tragic situation.
‘As I have said consistently over the last few weeks, ISIL terrorists speak for no religion. They threaten Syrians, Iraqis, Americans and British people alike and make no distinction between Muslims, Christians or any other faith.
‘We have already been working hard to keep British people safe and we will continue to do all we can to protect our country and our people from these barbaric terrorists. Tomorrow morning I will chair a COBR meeting to review these latest developments.’
Two beheadings makes it more difficult for world leaders to stay as far away from this crisis as they possibly can. Isis may use barbaric, evil, shock-and-awe tactics to suggest they are bigger and more powerful than they are, but the truth is that until the poisonous ideology that carries them along isn’t just chased away but defeated, then they will continue to commit evil acts against journalists, religious minorities and anyone else who comes in the way of their hatred of freedom.
This was another American citizen apparently beheaded by a Briton, with a British hostage the next in line. And that means pressure will only grow for a coherent strategy from both the United States and the UK towards the Middle East, where currently there isn’t one.
PS The video released today has nothing to contradict the belief of US intelligence officials believe that Sotloff may have been killed at the same time as Foley.