White House press secretary Josh Earnest denied that murdered American journalist Steven Sotloff was sold by moderate Syrian rebels to ISIS, as claimed by a family spokesman.
As Bizpac Review reported Tuesday (“Sotloff family spokesman blasts administration”), Barak Barfi told CNN that he had learned from “sources on the ground” that Sotloff had been abducted by supposedly U.S. friendly rebels and immediately handed over to ISIS for $25,000 to $50,000.
In his Wednesday briefing, Earnest took issue with that account. “As it relates to the specifics of the matter, based on the information that has been provided to me, I don’t believe that is accurate. But I do know at the same time that this is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation,” he said. “They are looking into all aspects of this, including how Mr. Sotloff may have come into the hands of ISIL.”
However, if the FBI’s pursuit of the murderers resembles that of their hunt for the killers of four Americans in Benghazi two years ago, then the Sotloff family indeed will appreciate justice delayed is justice denied.
Earnest did admit that vetting Syrian opposition rebels was a difficult undertaking, but that intelligence officers had “made a lot of progress.”
When contacted by NBC News, the FBI spokesman had no comment on the affair.
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