Japanese journalist Kenji Goto has been killed by ISIS

February 1, 2015 1:11 am

 A screen grab from a YouTube video of hostage Kenji Goto
holding a photograph of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh. Photo / AFP /
YouTube

extremely condemned with outrage and horror on Sunday when an online video
that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading
Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
The video posted on militant
websites late Saturday Middle East time ended days of negotiations to
save the man and heightened fears for the life of a Jordanian fighter
pilot also held hostage.
“I feel indignation over this immoral
and heinous act of ,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters
after convening an emergency Cabinet meeting.
“When I think of
the grief of his family, I am left speechless,” he said. “The government
has been doing its utmost in responding to win his release, and we are
filled with deep regret.”
He vowed that Japan will not give in to
terrorism and will continue to provide humanitarian aid to countries
fighting the Islamic State extremists.

The White House released a statement in which President Barack
Obama also condemned “the heinous murder” and praised Goto’s reporting,
saying he “courageously sought to convey the plight of the Syrian
people to the outside world.”
Obama applauded Japan’s “steadfast
commitment to advancing peace and prosperity in the Middle East and
globally, including its generous assistance for innocent people affected
by the conflicts in the region.”
“I was hoping Kenji would come
back alive to thank everyone who had supported him,” Goto’s brother
Junichi told Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV. “I am filled with
sadness he couldn’t do it.”
Goto’s mother, Junko Ishido, told NHK
TV her son’s death showed he was a kind, gentle man, trying to save
another hostage. That hostage, Haruna Yukawa, was shown as purportedly
killed in an earlier video.
The fates of Goto, a 47-year-old
freelance journalist, and the Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath Kaseasbeh, had
been linked by the militants, but Saturday’s video made no mention of
the airman. Jordan’s government spokesman, Mohammed al-Momani, declined
comment. Earlier this week, Jordan had offered to free an al-Qaida
prisoner for the pilot, but a swap never moved forward.
Saturday’s
video, highlighted by militant sympathizers on social media sites, bore
the symbol of the Islamic State group’s al-Furqan media arm.
Though
the video could not be immediately independently verified by The
Associated Press, it conformed to other beheading videos released by the
extremists, who now control about a third of both and neighboring
in a self-declared caliphate.
The video, called “A Message
to the Government of Japan,” featured a man who looked and sounded like a
militant with a British accent who has taken part in other beheading
videos by the Islamic State group. Goto, kneeling in an orange prison
jumpsuit, said nothing in the roughly one-minute-long video.
“Abe,”
the militant says in the video, referring to the Japanese prime
minister, “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.”
Officials in Japan and the US said they were trying to confirm the authenticity of the video.
“We
have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen Kenji Goto
has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL,” said Bernadette Meehan,
a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council, using an
alternate acronym for the extremist group. “The United States strongly
condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all the
remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan.”
In Tokyo, Goto’s friend Hiromasa Nakai said he was still hoping that the video was not authentic.
“I only can say I’m hoping this is not true,” he said.
Goto was captured after he traveled to Syria in October to try to win Yukawa’s release from the Islamic State group.
Yukawa reportedly was killed previously, though authorities have yet to authenticate the video claiming that.
The Jordanian pilot was captured after his fighter plane went down in December over an Islamic State-controlled area of Syria.
Earlier
this week, Jordan had offered to release an al-Qaida prisoner for the
pilot. However, in a purported online message earlier this week, the
militants threatened to kill the pilot if the prisoner wasn’t released
by Thursday. That deadline passed, and the families of the pilot and the
journalist were left waiting in agony.
Late Friday, Japan’s
deputy foreign minister reported a deadlock in efforts to free Goto.
Jordan and Japan had reportedly conducted indirect negotiations with the
militants through Iraqi tribal leaders.
The hostage drama began last week after militants threatened to kill Goto and Yukawa in 72 hours unless Japan paid $200 million.
Later,
the militants’ demand shifted to seeking the release of the al-Qaida
prisoner, Sajijda al-Rishawi, 44, who faces death by hanging in Jordan
for her role in triple hotel bombings in Amman in 2005. Sixty people
were killed in those attacks, the worst terror attack in Jordan’s
history.
Al-Rishawi has close family ties to the Iraq branch of al-Qaida, a precursor of the Islamic State group.

A combo picture shows Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (L) and Sajida al-Rishawi (R), a would-be suicide bomber. Photo / AFP  

An online video released Saturday appears to show Islamic State
executing Japanese journalist Kenji Goto — the apparent end to a
frantic past couple of days in which Japan officials tried negotiating
to save Goto’s life.

The video, called “A Message to the Government of Japan,” featured a
militant who looked and sounded like a militant with a British accent
who has taken part in other beheading videos by the Islamic State
group. 

Goto, kneeling in an orange prison jumpsuit, said nothing in the roughly one-minute-long video.

“Abe,” the militant says in the video, referring to the Japanese
prime minister, “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.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed outrage at the video that was released on militant websites.

“I feel indignation over this immoral and heinous act of terrorism,”
Abe told reporters after convening an emergency Cabinet meeting.

“When I think of the grief of his family, I am left without words,”
he said. “The government has been doing its utmost in responding to win
his release, and we are filled with deep regrets.”

He vowed that Japan will not give in to terrorism and will continue
to provide humanitarian aid to countries fighting the Islamic State
extremists.

The United States condemns the heinous murder of Japanese citizen and
journalist Kenji Goto by the terrorist group ISIL,” a statement from
the White House said. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Goto’s family and loved
ones, and we stand today in solidarity with Prime Minister Abe and the
Japanese people in denouncing this barbaric act.” 

The White House’s National Security Council issued a statement
minutes after the release of the video stating intelligence officials
are, as with similar recent videos, trying to verify its authenticity.

The hostage drama began last week after Islamic State threatened to
kill Goto and fellow Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa in 72 hours unless
Japan paid $200 million.

A purported militant message released Jan. 24 claimed Yukawa had been killed.

The militants later demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, who is
on death row in Jordan for her role in a 2005 al Qaeda attack on hotels
in Amman that killed 60 people.

Within hours, the militant group said it instead wanted al-Rishawi,
44, released in exchange for the life of hostage Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh,
a Jordanian fighter pilot.

Late Friday, after the deadline for a deal had passed, Japan’s deputy
foreign minister, Yasuhide Nakayama, said that efforts to free Goto
were “in a state of deadlock.”

The 26-year-old al Kaseasbeh’s plane went down in December over an Islamic State-controlled area of northeastern Syria.

He is the first foreign pilot to be captured by the group since a
U.S.-led military coalition began carrying out airstrikes against the
extremists in September. Jordan is part of the coalition.

Kaseasbeh’s family said late Friday there has been no word about the 26-year-old pilot’s fate.

Goto was captured in October, after he traveled to Syria to try to win the release of Yukawa.

Jordan and Japan are reportedly conducting indirect negotiations with the militants through Iraqi tribal leaders.

The
1 minute and 7 second clip shows Mr Goto, 47, kneeling in a rocky gorge
while the masked murderer delivers a scripted message to the camera. 
The
killer then lowers his knife and the footage goes black, as is common
in propaganda films. When the footage begins again Mr Goto’s body
is shown lying on the desert floor.
The
footage, which was released by the media arm of Islamic State, was
entitled ‘a message to the government of Japan’, and in the footage
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was blamed for the killing
The
fighter, who has a British accent, says: ‘To the Japanese government:
You, like your foolish allies in the Satanic coalition, have yet to
understand that we, by Allah’s grace, are an Islamic Caliphate with
authority and power, an entire army thirsty for your blood.
‘(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
footage has appeared just a day after Japan’s deputy foreign minister,
Yasuhide Nakayama, told journalists that negotiations for Mr Goto’s
release were ‘in a state of deadlock’.
Tonight the Japanese government has strongly condemned the apparent killing.
Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: ‘I cannot help feeling strong
indignation that an inhuman and despicable act of terrorism like this
has been committed again.’
Japanese
authorities have said the video is most likely genuine. A statement
from a cabinet meeting of senior politicians said the footage ‘has a
high degree of credibility.’
Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe added: ‘I feel strong indignation at this inhumane
and contemptible act of terrorism. I will never forgive these
.’
‘Japan
will work with the international community to bring those responsible
for this crime to justice,’ he said, reiterating that Japan would not
give in to terrorism.
Mr Goto’s mother and brother have both paid tribute to the war correspondent this evening.

Japanese Prime Minister: ‘We will not give in to terrorism’

http://www.jokpeme.com/2015/01/beheading-of-japanese-journalist-by-isis.html


Mr Goto, a war correspondent with experience of reporting from Middle East conflict zones, went missing in October last year as he went to help fellow Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa 

Mr Goto, a war correspondent with
experience of reporting from Middle East conflict zones, went missing in
October last year as he went to help fellow Japanese hostage Haruna
Yukawa 
Mr Goto was last heard from a week ago, when an audio clip emerged claiming to be by him, saying Mr Yukawa had been killed and asking for failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi to be released

Mr Goto was last heard from a week
ago, when an audio clip emerged claiming to be by him, saying Mr Yukawa
had been killed and asking for failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi
to be released
‘I
was hoping Kenji would come back alive to thank everyone who had
supported him,” Goto’s brother Junichi Goto, told broadcaster NHK TV.
‘I am filled with sadness he couldn’t do it.’
Goto’s mother, Junko Ishido, told NHK TV her son’s death showed he was a kind gentle man, trying to save another hostage.
 We are an Islamic Caliphate with… an entire army thirsty for your blood
 Killer in latest ISIS video
Andreas
Kreig, assistant professor for defence studies at King’s College
London, told MailOnline tonight that he believes the footage is genuine.
He
said: ‘The technology that is used to film, they way the shots are cut,
the way the footage transitions from one shot to the next, this is all
things we have seen before in ISIS videos.’
Anthony
Glees, Professor of Security Studies at Buckingham University, added:
‘This kind of video still has the power to shock. It’s particularly
shocking because in this case everyone had a sense that Mr Goto may be
released, as would the Jordanian pilot.’ 
Last
night ISIS tweeted to say they were going to give King Abdullah, the
deceased ruler of Saudi Arabia, a present on what would have been his
91st birthday. 
Last
night terror expert Shiraz Maher, who works for King’s College London,
tweeted the message, and added: ‘I suspect, sadly, we’ll see hostage
videos released soon.’
Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary Yoshihide Suga has condemned the attack, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated that Japan will never bow to terrorists

Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary
Yoshihide Suga has condemned the attack, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
has reiterated that Japan will never bow to terrorists
Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama was pictured leaving Jordan this evening in a car convoy after footage emerged claiming to show the beheading of Japanese ISIS hostage Kenji Goto

Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister
Yasuhide Nakayama was pictured leaving Jordan this evening in a car
convoy after footage emerged claiming to show the beheading of Japanese
ISIS hostage Kenji
Protesters in Jordan demand to know the fate of Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, a pilot held by Islamic State who was threatened with death in the latest videos alongside Mr Goto

Protesters in Jordan demand to know
the fate of Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, a pilot held by Islamic State who was
threatened with death in the latest videos alongside Mr Goto
Asked
whether he had been expecting ISIS to release footage this evening, Dr
Kreid added: ‘We had not been expecting anything, but something had to
happen, because ISIS had issued an ultimatum that was not met.’ 
Mr Goto first appeared in an ISIS propaganda video a week ago alongside fellow Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, 42.
ISIS
demanded $200million for the release of both of the men, the same
amount the Japnese government pledged to help fight the organisation. 
Last
Saturday an audio recording emerged purporting to be of Mr Goto
explaining that Mr Yukawa had been killed, and again pleading for his
release.
The
voice claimed that ISIS had changed its demands, instead asking for the
release of Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber
currently on death row in Jordan.
The video has emerged three days after ISIS asked for Sajida al-Rishawi to be brought to the Turkish border.
However
on that occasion they were threatening to kill Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, the
Jordanian fighter pilot currently being held by the terror group after
crash-landing on their territory in December.
ISIS had been asking to exchange Mr Goto and Jordanian airforce pilot Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, who they are also holding hostage, for failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row in Jordan

ISIS had been asking to exchange Mr
Goto and Jordanian airforce pilot Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, who they are also
holding hostage, for failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on
death row in Jordan
There
was no mention of the fate of al-Kasasibah in today’s footage. Jordan
had threatened to kill all of its ISIS hostages if he was harmed. 
Jordan’s government spokesman, Mohammed al-Momani, declined comment late Saturday on the video of Goto’s purported beheading. 
The
Japanese government has said it is currently trying to verify the
footage, which was distributed by ISIS’ propaganda arm al-Furqan Media
Foundation. 
The fate of Jordanian pilot Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, who ISIS had also been threatening to kill, was not mentioned in the latest video

The fate of Jordanian pilot Mu’adh
al-Kasasibah, who ISIS had also been threatening to kill, was not
mentioned in the latest video
Mr
Goto, 47, a war correspondent with experience in Middle East hot spots,
went to Syria in late October to try to help release Mr Yukawa, who was
captured in July.
Mr
Yukawa’s arrival in the Middle East followed a number of difficult
years, which appeared to begin in 2005, when his business failed,
leaving him in debt and, at one point, reportedly homeless. 
The
Japnese government has previously condemned ISIS’ threats against Mr
Yukawa and Mr Goto, while stating that they will not cooperate with
terrorists.
After
of Mr Yukawa’s killing spread, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
said: ‘Considering the unbearable pain and sorrow that his family must
be feeling, I am speechless.
‘Such
act of terrorism is outrageous and impermissible, it causes me nothing
but strong indignation. I condemn it strongly and resolutely.’
U.S. officials said they were trying to confirm the authenticity of the video.
Bernadette
Meehan, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council,
said: ‘We have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen
Kenji Goto has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL.
‘The
United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the
immediate release of all the remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity
with our ally Japan.’
Junko Ishido, Mr Goto’s mother, has previously issued a tearful appeal for her son to be released.
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