The mother of journalist Steven Scotloff held captive by ISIS has released a video entreating the jihadists to spare her son's life.
The mother of journalist Steven Scotloff has released a video entreating the ISIS militants to spare her son's life.YouTube/ Screenshot

"I ask you, please, release my child."

These were the emotional words of a mother who has released a video entreating the ISIS, who had kept her journalist son as captive in Syria, to spare his life.

Shirley Scotloff, the mother of the 31-year-old freelance journalist Steven J Scotloff, addressed her plea directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

"He's an innocent journalist," the anguished mother of the captured journalist said in videotaped address to Baghdadi, that was broadcast on the Al Arabiya Network.

Addressing the murderous chief of the extremist Sunni militant group as "the caliph of the Islamic State," the Florida mother said: "My son, Steven, is in your hands."

"I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qaraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State. I am Shirley Scotloff. My son Steven is in your hands," she says in the video that has now gone viral online. "You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child."

"I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to set the example of the Prophet Muhammad, who protected 'People of the Book,'" she continued, referring to a Muslim term used for Jews and Christians. "I want what every mother wants: to live to see her children's children. I plead with you to grant me this."

Shirley Scotloff's heart-felt plea comes more than a week after ISIS released a gruesome video showing the beheading of another American journalist, James Foley. Minutes after cutting off Foley's head, the masked murderer warned that Scotloff, 31, could be next, if the Obama administration doesn't stop bombing their bases in Iraq.

Ever since Scotloff vanished in Syria, his family had asked news organisations never to report anything about him after being told by ISIS that he would be killed if his mother publicised his case, the New York Times has noted.

In her plea to Baghdadi, Scotloff's mother insisted that her son "travelled to the Middle East to cover the suffering of Muslims at the hands of tyrants."

"Steven is a loyal and generous son, brother and grandson," she further said. "He's an honourable man and has always tried to help the weak."

"We have not seen Steven for over a year, and we miss him very much. We want to see him home safe and sound and to hug him," she said adding that her son had "no control over the actions of the US government."

The 63-year-old mother continued: "Since Steven's capture, I've learned a lot about Islam...I've learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others."