ISIS video shows beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff

Story highlights

NEW: "Stay tuned" for plans to combat ISIS, a State Department official says

A video has emerged showing the 31-year-old journalist being beheaded

Footage threatens the life of another man

ISIS beheaded journalist James Foley; in that video, the terrorist group threatened to kill Sotloff

CNN  — 

A video that shows the beheading of American Steven Sotloff was delivered as a “second message to America” to halt airstrikes in Iraq, following through on a threat to kill the journalist.

In the video posted Tuesday online, Sotloff says – in a message surely scripted by his captors – that he is “paying the price” for U.S. military intervention.

The intelligence community in the United States is working to confirm the authenticity of the video, and the journalist’s family was waiting for that formal authentication that Sotloff has been killed.

“The family knows of the video and is grieving privately,” family spokesman Barak Barfi said.

Who is ISIS?

The killing of Sotloff follows a threat last month by ISIS made during the videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley. The latest video threatens the life of another man.

A masked ISIS figure in the new video speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama, telling him, “Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

The Islamic State has thrived and mutated during the civil war in Syria. It swept into Iraq in June, seizing large swaths of the country’s Sunni-dominated northern and western provinces.

Obama ordered targeted airstrikes in Iraq to begin in early August after ISIS fighters began targeting ethnic Yazidis and launching attacks toward the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil.

ISIS appeared to date the execution video of Sotloff, referencing specific U.S. military actions in recent days, including U.S. airstrikes that helped over the weekend to break the siege of Amerli – a northern Iraqi town home to thousands of minority Shiite Turkmen.

Intelligence officials are analyzing the video, trying to answer some key questions, a senior U.S. administration official said.

Among the questions, the official said: When was it shot? Where was it shot? Is the killer in the Sotloff video the same one in the Foley video?

Until they answer those questions, the official said the administration does not want to speculate.

It’s believed ISIS is still holding a “small number” of Americans hostage, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Beheading of American journalist James Foley recalls past horrors

ISIS: ‘Back off and leave our people alone’

In the new video, the militant threatens the life of the man, who is shown kneeling with the militant standing behind him.

“We take this opportunity to warn those governments who’ve entered this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone,” the militant says.

CNN could not immediately confirm when he was taken captive.

But