- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A spokesman for Steven Sotloff’s family claims the slain American journalist was sold to Islamic State militants by Syria’s “so-called moderate rebels,” and that the Obama administration “could have done more” to save his life.

Sotloff family spokesman Barak Barfi, a foreign policy research fellow at the New American Foundation, said on CNN Monday evening that his sources have told him Syrian rebels sold Sotloff to the Islamic State group, “probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000.”

He referred to them as “so-called moderate rebels, that people want our administration to support,” a dig at lawmakers who have supported arming the Syrian rebels, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain, Politico reported.

Mr. Barfi then directed his anger toward the Obama administration for making “a number of inaccurate statements.”

“They’ve said that the families have been consistently and regularly informed. That is not true,” he said, The Daily Caller reported. “I speak now only from the Sotloff family. I can’t speak for the other families. They said that these hostages were moved frequently. We know that for most of the beginning of part of this year they were stationary.

“We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim and Steve are pawns in that game and that’s not fair,” he said, in reference to U.S. journalist James Foley, who was also beheaded by Islamic State militants. “The administration could have done more, they could have helped us, they could have seen them through.”

Mr. Barfi threatened to “set the record straight” about the Obama administration’s handling of the situation if it didn’t stop leaking details about Sotloff’s captivity to the media.

“If there continues to be leaks, the Sotloff family will have to speak out to set the record straight,” he said.

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