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Parents of Steven Sotloff: Death of Jihadi John ‘Too Little, Too Late’


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Shirley and Arthur Sotloff got a standing ovation Thursday speaking to a group of UCF journalism students.

Steven Sotloff was a journalist who gave voice to the voiceless. Sotloff was beheaded by the group known as the Islamic State in 2014. His parents Arthur and Shirley Sotloff got a standing ovation talking about their son Steven to a classroom of journalism students at the University of Central Florida Thursday.

Sotloff didn’t keep to one clique in high school, they said, instead spending lunch periods talking to new people every day. He sharpened his journalism skills at the University of Central Florida, and fell in love with the Middle East on a trip to Jerusalem.

His trip to Syria was going to be his last, but then Sotloff was captured and eventually beheaded by the group known as the Islamic State.

During the talk, Arthur Sotloff did touch on current events, including the recent death of the man known as “Jihadi John,” who killed their son.

“It’s too little too late,” Arthur Sotloff said. “We’re glad he was finally found, he won’t have the opportunity to murder anyone else, but also there are probably five or six people ready to take his place. He got what he deserved.”

And Arthur Sotloff referenced the policy forbidding the U.S. from negotiating with terrorists.

“He was abandoned, you know,” Arthur Sotloff said. “It was a terrible thing. We were also told we couldn’t raise money, that if we did, we would be prosecuted. So that means we couldn’t even go to anybody because of that fact.”

The Sotloff family says their son embodied the ideals of journalism. A foundation in Sotloff’s name has been established.

Couldn’t make the event? See below for an audio feature with the family.


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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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