Steven Sotloff: The kidnapped journalist no one knew about

Steven Sotloff went from the journalist whose disappearance went virtually uncovered to the man who's now the focus of American media coverage of ISIS.

Sotloff disappeared in August of last year near the Syrian-Turkish border as he tried to cover the Syrian conflict and the growing threat of the Islamic militants. He appeared in an ISIS video released earlier this week showing the beheading of another journalist, James Foley. ISIS said Sotloff was next if the U.S. didn't stop airstrikes against the militants in Iraq. 

Sotloff — seen here wearing the black helmet — was an accomplished freelance journalist with extensive experience covering tensions in the Middle East.

His bylines appeared in Time magazine. Along with Syria, he covered Libya and the attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi extensively.

Family friends say Sotloff's family has suffered silently since he disappeared, not knowing if he was alive until that video was released that promised his death.

 

Sotloff's parents live in a Miami suburb called Pinecrest. Local reporters say police have staked out the home to guard the family's wishes for privacy.

The family's silence and the fact the public was largely unaware of Sotloff's kidnapping to this point appears very deliberate.

Local politicians confirmed they've been working with Sotloff's family and the U.S. State Department to secure his release for several months.

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