The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that a video appearing to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff is genuine.
"The U.S. Intelligence Community has analyzed the recently released video showing U.S. citizen Steven Sotloff and has reached the judgment that it is authentic. We will continue to provide updates as they are available," National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said early Wednesday, in emailed comments.
Sotloff, 31, had appeared in a video released by the Islamic State last month that showed the beheading of another American journalist, James Foley. The group had threatened to kill Sotloff next.
The British government said separately Wednesday that it made an unsuccessful attempt to rescue a British man — David Cawthorne Haines — being held by IS.
Speaking in Estonia on Wednesday where he is meeting with Baltic state leaders ahead of a NATO summit later this week in Wales, President Obama called the killing of Sotloff a "horrific act of violence."
"Whatever these murderers think they've achieved by murdering innocent Americans ... they have failed," Obama said.
The president said Sotloff's killers would be brought to justice and that his death would only serve to unite Americans.
"Our reach is long and justice will be served," Obama said.