Oren Kessler, an American-Israeli journalist based in London, reveals information gleaned from email contact maintained with Sotloff beginning in 2011. Kessler claims that Sotloff presented himself as a Muslim Chechen journalist raised secular, and eventually underwent a 10 minute conversion to Islam in Yemen.
There weren’t many people in Libya who were willing to talk to a reporter from the Jerusalem Post. He was one of the only people on the ground who would talk to me. And then he was in Egypt and then in Syria… We would exchange contacts, say, ‘Hey, do you know anybody here?’ as journalists do.