The mother of an American freelance journalist held hostage and threatened with death by Islamic militants pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video message aimed directly at his captors.
Shirley Sotloff, who lives in the Miami area, addressed the leader of the Islamic State in seeking the return of Steven Sotloff, 31. Shirley Sotloff said that her son shouldn't pay for U.S. government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control, and that as a journalist he cared about the weak and oppressed.
"I want what every mother wants, to live to see her children's children." she said. "I plead with you to grant me this."
Shirley Sotloff cited by name the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has described himself as a caliph intending to lead the Muslim world. She asks him to show mercy and follow the example of the prophet Muhammad in protecting people of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.
"You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life," Shirley Sotloff said on the video.