ISIS: Japanese hostage beheaded


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By Steve Almasy

CNN

(CNN) — A newly distributed ISIS release appears to show the decapitated body of captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, after an English-language lecture is given by masked ISIS member “Jihadi John” to the people of Japan.

The 1-minute, seven-second video was released Saturday as others before it, by ISIS media wing Al Furqan Media, and cannot be authenticated by CNN.

“An atrocious act of terrorism has now been committed, and we are outraged at this,” said Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief Cabinet secretary, according to a CNN translation.

The video opens with a black slate that reads “A Message to Japan.” The video then shows a kneeling Goto wearing an orange outfit. The man known as “Jihadi John” is standing behind him.

The terrorist speaks while holding a knife in his left hand.

“(Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe, because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji, but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found. So let the nightmare for Japan begin,” the man says.

The video cuts to black as the militant puts the knife to Goto’s throat. It then shows the apparent result of the decapitation. It’s not clear who conducted the execution.

The fate of a Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS in Syria, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, was unclear. He is not mentioned in the video.

ISIS had been demanding that Jordan exchange a convicted terrorist, Sajida al-Rishawi, for the pilot. If there was no swap, ISIS said it would kill al-Kaseasbeh first, then Goto.

Goto would be the second Japanese hostage to be killed by ISIS recently. A video file posted online a week ago by a known ISIS supporter shows an image of Goto holding a photo of what appeared to be the corpse of his fellow captive, Haruna Yukawa.

The U.S. National Security Council condemned the new video and called on ISIS to release any remaining hostages.

“We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan,” spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

The 47-year-old Goto left Japan last fall, when his youngest daughter was 3 weeks old. His wife, Rinko, first heard from his captors December 2.

Jordanian officials have said they are willing to swap al-Rishawi — a female jihadist imprisoned in Jordan for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing at a wedding reception that killed dozens — for the pilot. But Jordan’s key condition is proof that al-Kaseasbeh is still alive.

Al-Kaseasbeh was captured after he ejected from his F-16 jet last month near Raqqa, the extremist group’s de facto capital in Syria.

CNN’s Jennifer Deaton contributed to this report.

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ISIS: Japanese hostage beheaded
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