(Recasts, adds sources saying video appears to be authentic,
WASHINGTON, Sept 2 A video released on Tuesday
by the Islamic State militant group purporting to show the
beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff appears to be
authentic although U.S. officials have yet to formally confirm
its validity, sources familiar with the matter said.
American officials said U.S. intelligence agencies were
making urgent checks to investigate the alleged Sotloff
beheading video to determine conclusively whether it is
The video follows a similar incident last month with the
beheading of U.S. writer James Foley, who was also held captive
in Syria since 2012.
U.S. experts have thought since shortly after Foley's death
that the militants holding him had also likely killed Sotloff,
who was shown, still alive, in the video the Islamic State
released of Foley's killing on Aug. 19.
The militant group released the latest video earlier on
Tuesday, the U.S.-based SITE monitoring service said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a
briefing just as reports of the video were made public that he
could not immediately verify the video, but that any such video
would be analyzed very carefully.
State Dept spokeswoman Jen Psaki, in a separate briefing,
said U.S. intelligence services would "work as quickly as
possible to determine its authenticity."
"If the video is genuine we are sickened by this brutal act
taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our hearts
go out to the Sotloff family," she told reporters.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Susan Heavey; Editing by