The spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist behead by the Islamic State, revealed new details on CNN about Sotloff’s capture as well as the family’s disappointment in the Obama administration’s handling of the entire situation.
Barak Barfi, who is also a fellow at the New American Foundation, told Anderson Cooper that “so-called moderate rebels” in Syria established a fake checkpoint to capture Sotloff on the Syrian border, and eventually sold him to the Islamic State for $25,000 to $50,000, according to their sources in the region. Sotloff was falsely believed to have been involved in the bombing of a hospital.
Since Sotloff’s beheading, the administration “made a number of inaccurate statements” about its work with the family, as well as the family of James Foley, who was also killed by the militant group, Barfi said. He indicated that if the administration continues to offer a misleading representation and leaks about the situation, the family will speak out.
“We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim [Foley] and Steve are pawns in that game and that’s not fair,” Barfi said. “We do not believe they gave us the cooperation we need.”
“The administration could have done more, they could have helped us, they could have seen them through,” he added.