UK remains firm on Islamic State strategy

Ministers are considering participating in air strikes on Iraq despite threats made against Britain.

US journalist Steven Sotloff was beheaded by Islamic State forces in Syria. The video surfaced on 2 September 2014. Picture: Facebook.

LONDON - The British government insists it will not change its strategy on dealing with the Islamic State, despite the radical organisation threatening to murder a British citizen being held captive.

The UK has joined worldwide condemnation of the latest gruesome murder of a journalist by the Islamic State describing it as absolutely barbaric.

However, ministers in London are still considering participating in air strikes on Iraq, despite threats made against Britain.

British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired an emergency meeting today after the Islamic State posted a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, in which the Jihadists claimed a Briton would be their next victim.

The group published footage of Sotloff's execution on Tuesday, which it called retaliation for US air strikes. The video was authenticated by the White House on Wednesday.

Cameron has expressed his disgust at what he described as the group's "barbarism".

However, ministers insist the video makes no difference to their strategic planning and they need to deal with the Islamic State as a wider threat.

They said they would consider every option to protect the British hostage, whose identity has not been released, but that air strikes would be considered if judged beneficial.

UK officials also confirmed Sotloff's killer appears to be the same British man who was filmed two weeks ago beheading another American journalist, James Foley.

The precise circumstances of Sotloff's abduction in the first week of August 2013 remain unclear, as does the identity of his original kidnappers.