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Parents of Steven Sotloff react to death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Shirley Sotloff says al-Barghdadi's death 'doesn't bring my son back'

PINECREST, Fla. – The mother of a former South Florida journalist killed by ISIS is glad that the terrorist group's leader has been killed. 

But ultimately, it doesn't ease any of her pain. 

"We're happy that he's gone," Shiley Sotloff said Sunday morning, following President Donald Trump's announcement that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed by U.S. forces. 

Shirley's son, 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.

Shirley said Sunday that the death of al-Baghdadi, while a good thing, isn't going to help erase any of the pain she feels for losing her son. 

"It's just like Jihadi John," Shirley said. "He was killed, but it still doesn't bring my son back."

Later in the day, Shirley and husband Arthur made a formal statement from in front of their home, which said in part: 

"The Sotloff family is grateful to President Trump, our brave U.S. Special Forces and all involved intelligence allies for pinpointing and eliminating ISIS leader al-Baghdadi without suffering any U.S. Military casualties. While the victory will not bring our beloved son Steven back to us, it is a significant step in the campaign against ISIS."

The full statement can be seen below. 

The Sotloff's said they received a call from the FBI on Saturday night, but the agency did not reveal any details. President Trump also called the Stoloff's, reaching out Sunday afternoon. 


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