ISIS Threatens to Execute Jordanian Pilot, Japanese Hostage Within 24 Hours

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.

A video released on jihadist websites showed a picture of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photograph of captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.

A voiceover, purportedly by Goto, warned that Jordan was blocking the Japanese journalist's release by failing to free Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber on death row since 2006.

The statement said Goto and Kassasbeh would be killed within 24 hours if Rishawi was not freed, and urged the Japanese government to put pressure on Jordan.

Kassabeh was captured in December by ISIS militants after the group shot down his warplane during a mission as part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition over northern Syria.

A video was released last week in which the group claimed to have beheaded another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, after Japan refused to send $200 million to the group within a 72-hour deadline. It said Goto would be killed next if Rishawi was not freed.

On Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the killing of Yukawa "outrageous" and again demanded the group release Goto. However, he reiterated that Japan would not give in to “terrorism.”

Japan dispatched a minister to Jordan earlier this week. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined to comment on whether he would ask Amman to release Sajida.

Yukawa, 42, was seized by militants in August after going to Syria to launch a security company. Goto, 47, went into Syria in late October as a freelance journalist seeking to secure Yukawa's release, according to friends and business associates.

Rishawi was sentenced to death by a Jordanian court in September 2006 in connection with triple hotel bomb attacks in Amman the previous year that killed 60 people.

The 44-year-old woman was arrested four days after the attacks in which her husband Ali Hussein al-Shammari and two other Iraqis, blew themselves up.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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