08/27/2014 12:14 pm ET Updated Sep 02, 2014

Mother Of Steve Sotloff, Journalist Held In Syria, Releases Emotional Video To ISIS

The mother of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, who is being held hostage by Islamic State militants, has released a video pleading with the group's leader to free her son.

Published by The New York Times on Tuesday, the video shows Shirley Sotloff asking Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to show mercy.

"As a mother I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over," she says. "I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammad who protected the People of the Book."

Steven Sotloff has been missing in Syria since August 2013. Last week, the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of another American journalist, James Foley. Sotloff also appeared in the video, and the group threatened to kill him next if the United States continues to launch airstrikes.

Sotloff's mother says in the video that her son has no control over the decisions of the U.S. government, calling him an "innocent journalist" and an "honorable man."

"I want what every mother wants," she says. "To live to see their children's children. I plead with you to grant me this."