Japanese Confirm Beheading of Kenji Goto

Photo Credit: International Business Times By Priya Joshi. The Japanese government has confirmed that a video showing the beheading of hostage Kenji Goto appears to be genuine.

The one minute-long footage was released by Islamic State (IS) on Saturday (31 January).

The video titled ‘A Message to the Government of Japan’ shows Mr. Goto dressed in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling on the ground as the executor, believed to be Jihadi John, delivers a scripted speech in which he threatens to inflict more brutality on the citizens of Japan.

He says: “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 Japanese, UK and US governments have strongly condemned IS for the latest execution of a hostage. (Read more about the beheading of Kenji Goto HERE)

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As Japan Grieves Over Second Citizen Slain by ISIS, Jordan Still Holding Their Breath

By Bill Neely. As Japan reels from the apparent beheading of a second citizen by ISIS, another country half a world away is holding its breath.

With the purported beheading of journalist Kenji Goto — just days after ISIS murdered another Japanese citizen — Tokyo has been dragged squarely into a conflict it has long sought distance from. Goto’s image is everywhere and Japan’s bleary-eyed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed the country will “never, never forgive” the terrorists who took him.

But while the world’s attention focused on the fate of two Japanese hostages — and collectively expressed outrage over their murders — ISIS has threatened to kill another captive whose fate has much greater significance in the battle for control of large swathes of the Middle East.

Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al Kasasbeh was on a bombing run over Syria in December when he was forced to eject and immediately captured by ISIS fighters. His continued captivity — and ISIS threats to murder him — are a national trauma for Jordan.

Kasasbeh’s case underscores how ISIS has Jordan in its crosshairs. The terror group loathes the moderate Muslim regime and its king, viewing Jordan as a treacherous country for its decades-long alliance with the United States. ISIS is at Jordan’s border and wants nothing more than to destabilize the country and ultimately make it part of its ‘caliphate.’ (Read more from this story HERE)

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