IS video claims Jordanian captive being burnt alive

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in scenes that are far too shocking to even consider publishing

Amman: A video released by Islamic State militants on February 3 appears to show a Jordanian pilot who was captured in December being burned alive.

The video shows images of what IS militants said is the captive pilot, Maaz al-Kasaesbeh, engulfed in flames while standing inside a black metal cage.

Jordan's armed forces confirmed his death, while state television reported that Kasaesbeh had been killed on January 3, before IS militants offered to spare his life and free a Japanese journalist in return for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber held in Jordan.

U.S. intelligence officials said they are investigating the issue of when the video was shot.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah cut short a visit to the United States on February 3 in order to return to Jordan.

Jordan's military vowed "punishment and revenge" against IS militants.

Army spokesman General Mamduh al-Amiri said: "The blood of the martyr will not have been shed in vain and...vengeance will be proportional to this catastrophe that has struck all Jordanians."

Jordanian security officials told the French news agency AFP that they will execute the Iraqi female would-be bomber on February 4 as part of an "earth-shattering" response to Kasaesbeh's execution.

The IS militants had demanded the release of death-row inmate Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for Kasaesbeh's release.

Rishawi was detained in 2005 after her explosives-laden suicide vest failed to detonate during a 2005 terrorist attack in Jordan.

She has ties to leaders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq who later became the leadership of the Islamic State group.

Kasaesbeh was captured by IS militants after his F-16 fighter jet crashed on December 24 near Raqqa, Syria -- the de facto capital of the group's self-styled caliphate.

Kasaesbeh had been carrying out air strikes against the militants as part of a U.S.-led international coalition that is battling the extremist group.

U.S. President Barack Obama said if the video is real, it is one more indication of the "viciousness and the barbarity" of IS militants.  

He said the U.S.-led coalition would "redouble the vigilance and determination" to ensure the extremist group is "ultimately defeated."

He also said more resources would be put into trying to free other captives held by IS militants in Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State video released on February 3 begins with the captive Kasaesbeh sitting at a table discussing coalition operations against the IS group while flags from the various Western and Arab countries in the anti-IS coalition are displayed in the background.

It then shows a man who appears to be Kasaesbeh dressed in an orange jumpsuit and surrounded by armed and masked IS fighters in camouflage.

The video then cuts to a man standing inside the cage and apparently soaked in gasoline while a masked extremist uses a torch to light a trail of gasoline that runs to the cage and burns him alive.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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