The mother of Steven Sotloff, a U.S. journalist being held by ISIS, released a video appeal for her son's release on Arabian television Wednesday, Aug. 27.
"My son is in your hands," Shirley Sotloff said. "As a mother I ask Your Justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life. Steven is a loyal and generous son, brother and grandson. He's an honorable man and he's always tried to help the weak."
Steven's mother addressed her message to the reported leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurashi al-Hussein. She noted that since her son had been taken captive, she had studied Islam and learned that "no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others." In the video released by ISIS last week, the man who beheaded fellow reporter James Foley explained that Foley and Steven would be killed because of the United States' actions against the state. more >>
A three judge panel from an appeals court has ruled against a Christian missionary group that was attacked at an annual Arab Festival in Michigan.
In a two to one decision rendered Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit panel affirmed a lower court dismissing a lawsuit by the group Bible Believers against Wayne County and its sheriff's office.
Circuit Judges Eric L. Clay and Bernice B. Donald comprised the majority, while district judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. dissented. more >>
The worldwide struggle for freedom and democracy faces enormous challenges today. Despite the promise of the United States government to support that struggle wherever it can, the Obama administration is not standing tall on the world stage. The American Legacy, as a shining beacon for oppressed peoples everywhere in their time of darkness, is being abandoned.
The United States has a wonderful track record of fulfilling that commitment. Past leaders of our nation have taken seriously America's special role in a troubled world. But the fact that the US has historically advanced freedom and democratic values makes me all the more upset when our current leaders fail to demonstrate an understanding of our exceptional role.
September 1, 2014 marks the anniversary of one of the worst examples of that failure in recent memory. It was then the consequence of an apparent decision of our government to turn its back on a group of people it had promised to help. Fifty-two people lost their lives in a massacre perpetrated by Iraqi forces under the command of Iraqi Prime Minister- Nouri-al Maliki and under the direction of the exceptionally anti-democratic regime in Iran. All of them died in possession of documents signifying the broken promise of protection that had been offered to them by the United States. more >>
A second American citizen who died fighting for terror group ISIS in Syria has been identified as Abdirahmaan Muhumed of Minneapolis, reports have said.
Fox News reported that the 29-year-old Somali-American died in the same battle as Douglas McArthur McCain, the first American to be identified as having died on the Islamic militant side. Muhumed's family has apparently received a photo of his body from Syria, but hasn't been notified by the State Department yet.
The White House confirmed McCain's death earlier this week, but spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that it had not yet received independent confirmation of the second American's death. more >>
A group of online, crowdfunded bloggers claim that they have pinpointed the location of a terrorist training ground used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). By simply examining peripheral landmarks in pictures posted by the terrorists to social media accounts, the bloggers claim to have verified the locations of the pictures using free online satellite imagery programs.
A team of journalists, researchers and bloggers contributing to the crowd-sponsored investigative blog Bellingcat.com, which researches conflict zones and other "issues being ignored" by the U.S. government, claim that they found that the general area of the training ground is near the west bank of the Tigres River in the north side of the city of Mosul.
The website received over $85,000 in funding donations through its participation with the Kickstarter.com funding website. The site was started by Elliot Higgins, who first came to fame for proving that Syria was using chemical weapons by using online videos and images. Higgins said he started the project to show that everyday people are capable of uncovering secrets of the state. more >>
The Church of England has called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to do more to help Christians and religious minorities fleeing persecution from terror group ISIS by offering asylum.
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, said that it is time for Cameron to "take a lead" on the issue and warned that the time for "speeches and condemnation has passed," The Telegraph reported.
Sentamu revealed that he had written the PM three weeks ago asking for Britain to offer asylum to refugees, but had not received a reply. more >>