A newly released video appears to show the beheading of a second Japanese ISIS hostage, journalist Kenji Goto. Government officials and media analysts are working to confirm the authenticity of the video, but it displays symbols similar to the identifying marks on previous ISIS releases.
WARNING: The following video is extremely graphic.
The video is titled, “A Message to the Government of Japan.” The masked terrorist boasts of the Islamic State’s righteousness as warriors of Allah, and brags about the size of the ISIS army in English.
The knife-wielding terrorist then addresses Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “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.” He then seizes the kneeling and handcuffed Kenji Goto and brings the knife to his throat as the video fades to black, resuming with the image of the decapitated corpse.
The BBC reports Japan’s government is “outraged” by the video and is meeting to decide on a response. Negotiations to free Goto along with captive Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh stalled on Friday evening. ISIS had set a deadline of sunset on Thursday for the release of al-Qaeda terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi by Jordan.
The BBC surmises that the terrorists, who had been in contact with Goto’s family, were willing to trade their Japanese hostage for Rishawi, but balked when Jordan insisted on the return of its pilot as well. ISIS had previously threatened that Kaseasbeh had “even less” time to live than Goto. A major sticking point in negotiations was the Islamic State’s refusal to prove that the Jordanian pilot is still alive. On Friday, Jordan warned that it would execute Rishawi and begin systematically judging and executing its ISIS prisoners if Kaseasbeh was harmed.