Parents of former UCF student killed by ISIS speak at school

Family of Steven Sotloff says US abandoned son


ORLANDO, Fla. – The parents of a former University of Central Florida student killed by ISIS spoke to his alma mater just days after a United States drone attack apparently killed their son's executioner.

"It's a tragic thing that should have never happened," said Arthur Sotloff. "My son was murdered in front of the whole entire world."

Freelance journalist Steven Sotloff was held hostage in Syria and beheaded on video by ISIS militant Mohammed Emwazi, better known to the world as "Jihadi John."

More than a year later, a U.S. drone attack targeted and apparently killed Jihadi John.

"It's too little too late," said Sotloff's father. "He won't have the opportunity to murder anybody else, but also there are five or six people that are ready to take his place. He got what he deserved. It's just a shame that my son and everybody that was murdered had to be a part of this."

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff said the U.S. abandoned their son. They said they were prevented from raising money to free him from his captors.

"He loved what he did," said Shirley Sotloff. "He really, really did. But he did want to come home in the end. It was supposed to be his last trip."

Speaking to aspiring journalists at UCF, they talked about training journalists to keep themselves safe around the world.

Among those future journalists was Nada Hassanein. Greeted with a hug, she told the Sotloffs she was born in Egypt and has a Syrian step-mother, places where their son gave a voice to the voiceless.

"He went to the places that were overlooked," Hassanein said. "He went to places where people were trapped. I was really inspired and thankful that he gave my people a voice."

The Sotloffs have established the Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation that gives scholarships to young journalists.

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