Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the reported killing of Steven Sotloff, an American journalist from Florida, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group:
“Steven Sotloff was a man of enormous courage and decency. Through his journalism, he demonstrated deep personal compassion toward the Middle East and its people. He hoped to shine a light on both the good and the bad of the region – to show the world the dramatic potential of its people as well as the stark forces of evil holding them back. As Steven was a native of Florida, my office has been in contact with his family throughout their ordeal, and today my heart goes out to all who loved him as they make the painful transition from fear to grief.
“Steven’s balanced and earnest approach to journalism was met with love by many in the Middle East, but with brutal disdain by those whose tactics stood in such clear contrast to his own. Through Steven’s execution, ISIL has demonstrated yet again its limitless capacity for cruelty and its unbridled hatred of freedom-loving people everywhere. ISIL continues to establish that its violent grasp for regional control represents a threat to the American people, our allies, and the principles of freedom and human rights that we cherish.
“The horrifying clarity of ISIL’s message toward America should have been met from the beginning with an equally clear opposing message. ISIL is now the best funded terrorist group ever established and has large areas of territory under their control. There is no disease that becomes easier to treat the longer you wait, and as history has shown time and again, it is the same with malignant forces in global affairs. If we do not act now to assist our Iraqi partners and moderate Syrians who oppose ISIL, as well as utilize our own forces to directly target ISIL’s leadership, the result will be more suffering and tragedy for our people.”