Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

The parents of Steven Sotloff, a Jewish journalist who was beheaded by Islamic State terrorists, said they are glad that the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead.

“The Sotloff family is thankful to President Trump, our brave US special forces and all involved intelligence allies for pinpointing and eliminating ISIS leader al-Baghdadi without suffering any U.S. military casualties,” said Shirley Sotloff, reading from a statement on Sunday, according to JTA, as her husband stood beside her in front of their home.

“While the victory will not bring our beloved son Steven back to us, it is a significant step in the campaign against ISIS,” she added.

President Donald Trump recalled Sotloff by name, as well as three other American ISIS victims, during his announcement of the death of Baghdadi.

Trump called the Sotloff family following his news conference on Sunday morning, according to JTA.

Sotloff, 31, was a native of Miami and grandson of Holocaust survivors who held dual Israeli citizenship. He made Aliyah in 2005 and studied foreign relations in Herzliya.

Sotloff reported from a number of Middle Eastern countries for publications such as Time, the Christian Science Monitor and Foreign Policy. At the time of his death, he was reportedly planning to go to Aleppo, Syria, to report on the city’s humanitarian crisis.

Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013 after crossing into Syria from Turkey and was killed on September 2, 2014. ISIS posted a video showing his beheading, which was carried out by the ISIS squad known as “The Beatles” led by Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John”.

In addition to the video of Sotloff, “Jihadi John” was also seen in ISIS videos showing the beheadings of journalist James Foley, British aid workers David Haines and Allan Henning, and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

Following Sotloff’s death, his family established the 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to support student journalists.