ISIS Captive's Mother: 'He's an Innocent Journalist'
August 28th, 2014
10:35 AM ET

ISIS Captive's Mother: 'He's an Innocent Journalist'

A mother's plea to the terrorists holding her son hostage: No individual should be punished for events he cannot control.

The mother is Shirley Sotloff, and she speaks directly to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video broadcast Wednesday on Al Arabiya Network.

Her son, freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, appeared last week in an ISIS video showing the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.

The militant in the video warns that Steven Sotloff's fate depends on what President Barack Obama does next in Iraq.

A day after the video was posted, Obama vowed that the United States would be "relentless" in striking back against ISIS.

"Steven is a journalist who traveled to the Middle East to cover the suffering of Muslims at the hands of tyrants. Steven is a loyal and generous son, brother and grandson," Shirley Sotloff said in the rare public appeal. "He is an honorable man and has always tried to help the weak."

The journalist has no control over what the United States government does, and he should not be held responsible for its actions, she says.

"He's an innocent journalist," she said.

The mother appeals to al-Baghdadi's self-declared title of caliph of the Islamic State.

As caliph, he has the power to grant amnesty to Steven Sotloff, the mother said.

"I ask you to please release my child," she said.

Steven Sotloff disappeared while reporting from Syria in August 2013, but his family kept the news secret, fearing harm to him if they went public.

Out of public view, the family and a number of government agencies have been trying to gain Sotloff's release for the past year.

See more on this developing story at CNN.com

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