Jihadists Respond to IS’s Capture of Downed Jordanian Pilot with Celebration and Speculation

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Upon the Islamic State’s (IS) capture of a downed Jordanian fighter pilot identified as First Lieutenant Mu’adh Yusuf al-Kasasbeh, jihadists on Twitter have begun celebrating the event and speculating what his treatment will be.

User Rami posted a picture of a cake with Arabic writing on it, reading, “Yal-Raqqawiyah [woman from Ar-Raqqah] Congratulations for the head of the Pilot.”

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The user also tweeted a picture of what he stated to be a piece from the jet’s cockpit “roaming” through the streets of Raqqa.

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IS fighters and supporters have also begun speculating and proposing what to do with al-Kasasbeh. In response to another user’s tweets on the captured pilot, user “Abu Zakariah #IS,” an alleged fighter with IS, tweeted, “I think I will put a request that teenagers should kill him.”

In a different, but equally violent suggestion, user “'Terrorist' Respawn” stated to another user:

The head is not enough in my opinion. Cut off limbs and leave in desert to die like that. That's also a Sunnah [tradition of the prophet].

In a follow-up tweet, the user stated that such a treatment would be the “Most befitting punishment for murdering apostates.”

Many jihadist accounts began to predict—often to a sarcastic tone—that the pilot would be beheaded by the masked executioner commonly referred to as “Jihadi John.” The account of “Abu Jandal” tweeted:

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To the same note, user “Mujahid Miski,” an American jihadist in Somalia, tweeted, “God willing we'll see that body and head separated soon.” To this tweet, user “Abu Uthman” responded, “1st thing I got in my mind when I heard that pilot is captured is that he will have a meeting with Jihadi John looool.”

The capture of al-Kasasbeh has also brought forth celebration from non-IS jihadists. User “Abu Sufyan Al-Libi,” a supporter of al-Nusra Front claiming to be in Lattakia, stated of the capture:

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The user also tweeted to another account, “lol they'll [IS] probably slaughter me before they slaughter him, still can't hide my happiness for his capture.”

Tweets of celebration were also met with anger toward the pilot and the U.S.-led coalition. User “Abu Salama” tweeted:

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To a similar tone, the account of “Better World” tweeted a picture of a girl who appeared to have been killed, stating that IS’s condition for releasing the pilot is to “bring this girl back to live.”

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