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Sotloff Friend Recalls 'adventurous Man'

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An Israeli lawyer, a long-time friend of the America journalist Steven Sotloff, who was recently beheaded by Islamic militants, remembers him as an adventurous man who was fascinated with the Middle East. (Sept. 3)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Caesarea, Israel - 3 September 2014

1. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Sapir, lawyer, friend of slain American journalist Steven Sotloff:

"He was just with me in Israel in July 2013 watching rugby and telling me about this exciting career that's he's been doing, a career that he made for himself. I did not know he was going to Syria, but it didn't surprise me to learn that he had gone to Syria to follow the changes in the region, that Syria was the next stop of the Arab Spring."

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Sapir, lawyer, friend of slain American journalist Steven Sotloff:

"They claim to be speaking for their people and yet Steven was there helping their people by getting their story out, getting a story out that the other journalists were not covering, and that's what I found the very sad irony of his death, is that not only it was at the hand of terrorists and a savage beheading but you killed somebody that was actually advocating a story to help the people who are suffering that you claim to be, you know, trying to save."

STORYLINE:

A friend of the America journalist Steven Sotloff, who was recently beheaded by the Islamic State group, remembered him as an adventurous man who was fascinated with the Middle East.

Michael Sapir spoke to AP Television about the memories he has of Sotloff and the time they spent together in Israel.

Sapir said he had last seen the journalist in July 2013, when the two watched a rugby match in Israel at the Maccabiah, the Jewish Olympics.

It took place shortly before Sotloff was kidnapped.

Sapir said he was not surprised to hear that Sotloff went to Syria to follow the political events there, as he was keen to help the Syrian people get their stories out.

Sotloff, a Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished a year ago in Syria and was not seen again until he appeared in a recent video that showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

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