U.S. officials confirmed that a gruesome video released on Tuesday showing Islamic State militants beheading an American journalist and threatening to kill another, who is a former UCF student, is authentic.

After the ISIS militant beheaded American journalist James Foley, the militant warned America that former UCF student Steven Sotloff is next. Sotloff was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013, he had previously freelanced for TIME and the National Interest.

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In the wake of the video arising, SGA President Weston Bayes says this is something that has been rattling the UCF campus.

“I can’t even imagine being in that situation and having such a difficult time. I have a heavy heart about it and my thoughts are with them,” Bayes said.

A White House petition has been made to do everything possible to free Sotloff.

“We, the undersigned call upon you, President Obama, to take immediate action to save Steven’s life by any means necessary,” the petition states.

The petition has gained over 3,000 signatures in less than 12 hours and needs 100,000 to reach its goal.

“This is an unspeakably terrible circumstance. We join so many others who hope for Steven’s safe return,” said Grant J. Heston, UCF Vice President for Communications and Marketing.
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