WASHINGTON (AA) – The United States will pursue Islamic State militants who have killed Americans all the way to the gates of hell, according U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
The terror group released a video Tuesday on the Internet that showed the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, just two weeks after the group released another video of the brutal beheading of another American journalist, James Foley.
American intelligence verified the authenticity of the video Wednesday morning.
“When people harm Americans, we don’t retreat, we don’t forget,” Biden said Wednesday during a speech in New Hampshire. “We will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice – because hell is where they will reside.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry echoed the vice president’s remarks.
He noted that the effort to free the remaining American hostages in Syria continues, adding that “those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.”
In a statement, Kerry said that for so many who worked so long to bring Sotloff safely home, the outcome should’ve been different, adding that the U.S. used every military, diplomatic and intelligence tool to secure Sotloff’s release.
During a State Department ceremony for the appointment of Shaarik Zafar as the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Kerry said “the real face of Islam is not the butchers who killed Steven Sotloff.”
“The face of Islam is not the nihilists who know only how to destroy, not to build. It’s not masked cowards whose actions are an ugly insult to the peaceful religion that they violate every single day with their barbarity,” he added. “The real face of Islam is a peaceful religion, based on the dignity of all human beings.”
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