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Tensions Mount as ISIS Strikes Again

Tensions are mounting between the United States and ISIS after the beheading of a second American journalist by the terrorist group.

Masked jihadist with the late Steven Sotloff. Courtesy of the Daily News.

Masked jihadist with the late Steven Sotloff. Courtesy of the Daily News.

A video was released Tuesday, Sept. 2nd of a masked jihadist executing Steven Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami, Fla. native. The gruesome video is the second of its kind to surface in two weeks, after the one depicting the death of James Foley, another American journalist. In the latest video, the executioner claimed that the killing was payback for America’s airstrikes against ISIS. The mysterious, British-accented murderer claimed that the group’s “knife will continue to strike the necks” of innocent people before committing the ruthless killing.

The act prompted President Barack Obama to deliver a statement from Estonia, where he was addressing conflicts between Russia and its neighboring nations. In the statement, Obama asserted that America will “degrade and destroy” ISIS in retaliation for its ruthless killings, and that “justice will be served.”

Vice President Joe Biden spoke a bit more bluntly on the subject during his address in Portsmouth, N.H.

“When people harm Americans, we don’t retreat. We don’t forget. We take care of those who are grieving. And when that is finished, they should know we will follow them to the gates of hell, until they are brought to justice,” Biden said, his voice echoing over applause from the audience.

The White House has announced that 350 troops will be sent to Iraq to join the U.S. forces that are currently there. The additional military personnel will help protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in the country and are intended for defensive, not combative, means.

The United Kingdom may be gearing up for retaliation as well, as the video of Sotloff’s murder ended with a threat against David Haines, a British security expert and aid worker. According to the video, unless the U.S. airstrike is ended, Haines will be the third victim in the series of brutal executions.

“The only way to defeat it is to stand firm and to send a very straightforward message: a country like ours will not be cowed by these barbaric killers,” said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in response to the threat against the innocent Briton. “If they think that we will weaken in the face of their threats, they are wrong.”

Though neither a strategy nor timeline of action has been released for the U.S. response to the executions, it is clear that the superpowers of the world have no tolerance for terrorism, and are not shy about fighting back in the wake of these crimes.

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