IS threat to kill Japan, Jordan hostages
IS Threat To Kill Japan, Jordan Hostages. The Islamic State jihadist group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.
Beirut: The Islamic State 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 shows a picture of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photograph of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.
A voiceover, purportedly by Goto, warns that Jordan is blocking the Japanese journalist's release by failing to free Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber on death row since 2006.
It follows a video released last week in which the group claimed to have beheaded another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, and said Goto would be killed next if Rishawi was not freed.
Japan said following the new threat that it was seeking help from Jordan.
"The government in this extremely difficult situation has been asking for assistance from the Jordanian government towards securing Goto's early release," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Moments after the new video appeared, Goto's mother Junko Ishido said: "I think the government should do whatever it can do".
"Kenji does not hold any animosity toward the Islamic State. He went to the Islamic State out of his extreme concern for Mr. Yukawa," she told Japanese media.
Earlier Tokyo said it was working with Jordan to free both Goto and Kassasbeh.
"Both countries are closely cooperating towards the return of each of them to their countries," deputy foreign minister Yasuhide Nakayama told reporters in Amman.
Jordan's King Abdullah pledged full cooperation with Japan during a meeting with Nakayama to ensure Goto's release, Tokyo said.
The new video says Goto and Kassasbeh will be killed within 24 hours if Rishawi is not freed, and urges the Japanese government to put pressure on Jordan.
There was no immediate comment from Jordan, a moderate Muslim nation that is one of Japan's closest diplomatic allies in the Middle East.
Kassasbeh was captured by IS on December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission against the jihadists over northern Syria.