Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday responded to a video purporting to show American journalist Steven Sotloff being beheaded by a member of an extremist group called the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL).
Sotloff grew up in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida.
Scott’s statement below, in its entirety:
“On behalf of Ann and myself, and on behalf of all the people of Florida, we want to convey our sorrow and our condolences to the entire Sotloff family. We cannot begin to understand their grief.
“The people who did this are evil. They are not merely wrong, they are not adversaries, they are evil. And evil must be confronted and destroyed.
“In fact, these immoral animals reject the basic code of human morality that crosses all cultures. This is not a political or international disagreement. It is a case of barbarians choosing to set themselves apart from the rest of humanity.
“Here is what they need to understand – Steve Sotloff was a Floridian, but more importantly he was an American. If you attack one American, you are attacking all Americans.
“Last week President Obama said that his Administration does not at present have a strategy for dealing with ISIS – these immoral evil people.
“I think I can speak for all Floridians and all Americans when I say that the time for a strategy is now, and part of that strategy needs to include destroying them.”
Sotloff, a freelancer, was seen alive last month at the end of another video that appeared to show the execution of James Foley, also a reporter.