Obama, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, met with Sotloff’s parents Art and Shirley as well as his sister Lauren. The president “appreciated the chance to hear from the Sotloffs more about Steven’s work as a journalist, including his passion for bringing the stories of people who are suffering to the rest of the world in the hope of making a positive difference, including in Syria,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokesperson for the National Security Council.
Sotloff was murdered by the Islamic State terror group in Syria last September. Islamic State released a gruesome video following his beheading. In a failed effort to protect Sotloff, his Jewish identity and Israeli citizenship were held under a gag order before his execution.
A Miami native, Sotloff made aliyah in 2008 to pursue an undergraduate degree at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He was abducted in August 2013 while reporting on the Syrian civil war.