Steven Sotloff Video Was Released by Intelligence Group linked to Homeland Security and Washington Think Tanks

Thursday, September 4, 2014
By Paul Martin

By James F. Tracy
Global Research
September 04, 2014

Western news media are abuzz with reports on the latest alleged murder of an American journalist by the “Islamic State.” A professionally-produced video of the beheading of Steve Sotloff was presented for public consumption by the private intelligence contractor SITE Intelligence Group of Bethesda Maryland. “SITE” stands for Search for International Terrorist Entities.[1]

US intelligence officials cannot presently authenticate the video, and in the past SITE has been accused of being overzealous in its pursuit of purported terrorist groups with unusually savvy internet skills and access. As former director of the CIA’s bin Laden Unit Michael Scheuer remarks, “Much as Al Jazeera underplays terrorist threats, the SITE Institute at times overplays them.”[2]

SITE has also been linked to the Department of Homeland Security, major US government players, and may have ties to the Israeli intelligence community. As Kurt Nimmo reports,

One of SITE’s founders, Rita Katz, is a government insider with close connections to former terrorism czar Richard Clarke and his staff in the White House, as well as investigators in the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to SourceWatch. Her father was executed in Iraq as an Israel spy, a fact that suggests a connection to Israeli intelligence.[3]

Another facet of the story calling into question its authenticity is the Sotloff family’s choice for a spokesperson. “The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately,” one Barak Barfi told the Miami Herald. “There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time.”[4]

Barak Barfi is in fact a “research fellow” at the New America Foundation, “where he specializes in Arab and Islamic affairs,” according to New America’s website.[5] Barfi was formerly a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2011 Mr. Barfi strongly advocated the overthrow of the Muammar Qaddafi government in Libya,[6] and has advanced similar arguments against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime.[7]

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