Jordanian military pilot 1st Lt. Muadh al-Kasasbeh—who was captured by the Islamic State after his plane crashed while conducting exercises against the terrorist group—has been executed, according to a report from Lebanese news agency Al Mayadeen.
Israel National News translated the report, noting that it was published on Friday morning local time and indicates only that Kasasbeh has been killed, but not how. While the report has not yet been confirmed independently by a mainstream media news outlet, it follows reports from sources close to Islamic State sources that claimed earlier in the week Kasasbeh had been “sentenced” to death by an Islamic State sharia court and would be killed “within the next 48 hours:”
— Elijah J. Magnier (@EjmAlrai) December 30, 2014
The Islamic State itself has not, by any official means, confirmed the execution. Unlike killings of other captives, there are not yet indications that the Islamic State produced video footage of the execution to use as propaganda against America and its allies.
The Associated Press reported that Kasasbeh had been captured on December 24, after his plane crashed. The Jordanian government confirmed that a military plane had crashed while conducting an operation against the terrorist group. His identity was confirmed by a cousin in Jordan, and he is believed to belong to a prominent Jordanian family.
Before the end of the month, the Islamic State published an interview with Kasasbeh in the latest issue of their English-language magazine, Dabiq. In the interview, an interviewee identified as Kasasbeh claims his plane was shot down, which contradicts the official position of the United States Department of State. In the interview, Kasasbeh notes that he is confident that Islamic State jihadists will “kill me.”
In Dabiq, authors also requested that supporters of the Islamic State use Twitter to send recommendations to the terrorist group on how to best execute Kasasbeh. Using the hashtags #We AllWantToSlaughterMoaz and #SuggestaWaytoKilltheJordanianPig, jihadist Twitter users recommended skinning alive, beheading, and feeding him to a crocodile, with one user recommending the use of his organs to help save wounded jihadists.
Reports have surfaced that a rescue attempt involving American troops in the area where Kasasbeh is believed to have been held went underway on Thursday, but troops were forced to retreat, unable to rescue the pilot.