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The mother of a US hostage who has been threatened with death by jihadist militants pleaded for his life on Wednesday amid mounting fears for Americans captured in Syria. Last week's murder of journalist James Foley by the so-called Islamic State has focused attention on other American hostages, including 31-year-old freelancer Steven Sotloff. Another US journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, returned home Tuesday after nearly two years captivity, but US media reported the Islamic State is still holding a 26-year-old female aid worker who has yet to be publicly identified. The masked militant seen beheading Foley in a video released by the group also threatened to kill Sotloff unless US President Barack Obama orders a halt to air strikes against the group.