Analysis: The Islamic State Beheads Kenji Goto Jogo
The Islamic State (IS) released a video showing the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto Jogo. The one minute, seven second video was produced by al-Furqan Media Foundation, a major media arm of the group, and was distributed on Twitter on January 31, 2015.
"This new video, contrary to other the one reporting the beheading of Haruna Yukawa, was released in the same fashion of previous beheading videos," says SITE Director Rita Katz. "The video not only contained attribution to al-Furqan, but also featured 'Jihadi John,' who would ultimately behead Kenji as he did his earlier victims."
Kenji appeared in the same styled orange outfit worn by previous IS prisoners. Next to him, the British IS executor widely referred to as "Jihadi John" stood over him and condemned the Japanese government:
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.
The executor then addressed 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.
Following his message, Jihadi John then beheaded Kenji Goto.
Katz: "From AQAP's Charlie Hebdo attack, to the beheading videos and other releases by the Islamic State, Twitter has become the most vital house for terrorist groups."
"Kenji's beheading video was, as has been repetitively been the case, distributed on Twitter," said Rita Katz. "From AQAP's Charlie Hebdo attack, to the beheading videos and other releases by the Islamic State, Twitter has become the most vital house for terrorist groups. This presence is very dangerous, making Twitter users vulnerable to these terrorists' propaganda and recruitment methods."
Such messages made by jihadists and jihadist supporters on Twitter have celebrated Kenji Goto's beheading as justice toward a country which they believed to be active in fighting IS. One account, under the name "Umm Hamza," tweeted a picture of Kenji Goto's beheaded body with a message:
One user, under the account "Shami Ibn Albaraa, stated that he felt "a bit sad for Kenji," but also that there was a "bright side" to his beheading:
"It's all the more frustrating to hear Islamic State-supporting accounts echo Jihadi John's claim for a new 'nightmare for Japan,'" said Katz. "So now, not only has the group killed innocent hostages of a country not involved in the U.S.-led coalition, but they have also promised violence toward the entire country itself. This brutal, blood-thirsty group must be stopped."
Katz continued, "Furthermore, the Islamic State will use this incident to boost its recruitment and continue its intimidation tactics with its remaining hostages."
No mention was made in the video regarding the fate of Jordanian pilot Mu'adh al-Kasasibah. IS did, however, release a video on the same day showing the beheading of an alleged Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter named Hussein Ibrahim Shgeirah, who was purported to be an agent for the Jordanian intelligence.
"It's hard to calculate what the Islamic State has done or will do to al-Kasasibah," said Katz. "The group may have more to gain by keeping him alive. However, as the Islamic State has proven to ignore both logic and morality, it is indeed possible that his execution video will be posted online soon."