As President Obama confirmed the authenticity of the video showing the execution of journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIL, an Israeli spokesman revealed that Sotloff held dual American-Israeli citizenship.

According to Reuters, this biographical detail had been previously withheld to minimize the risks that Sotloff's captivity already engendered. Sotloff also seemed to have successfully hidden his Jewish faith from his captors :

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, quoting a former fellow captive, said Sotloff had kept his Judaism a secret from the Islamist insurgents, pretending he was sick when he fasted for the Yom Kippur holiday." 

The Times of Israel is reporting that Sotloff had emigrated to Israel in 2005 becoming a citizen and attending school there before he started his career in journalism.

President Obama, who is in Estonia to meet over a NATO initiative amid the Ukrainian crisis, confirmed the authenticity of the video and issued his condolences to Sotloff's family. He added:

Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.”