Analysis: IS gives 24-Hour Ultimatum for Japanese Hostage Kenji Goto Jogo
Islamic State (IS)-linked Twitter accounts distributed a new video of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto Jogo, wherein he indicated that it would be his final message, and unless the Jordanian government frees Sajida al-Rishawi within 24 hours, he and captive Jordanian pilot Mu'adh al-Kasasibah will be executed.
"IS understands that killing Jogo has no benefit," said SITE Director Rita Katz. "He is worth more alive, hence the changes made to their strategy."
The one minute, 50 second video was posted on January 27, 2015, and like the first video of Kenji, it did not show the usual branding of an IS media unit, and only featured a picture of the captive and a voice attributed to him speaking English. In this new video, Kenji, urged the Japanese government to put political pressure on Jordan to heed the IS' demand for the prisoner exchange, stating:
Anymore delays by the Jordanian government will mean they're responsible for the death of their pilot, which will then be followed by mine. I only have 24 hours left to live, and the pilot has even less. Please don't leave us to die. Anymore delaying tactics will simply see both of us getting killed. The ball is now in the Jordanian's court.
"The Islamic State's pressure on the Jordanian government illustrates its desperation to gain anything from this hostage after failing to reap any reward from all past videos of beheading threats like those of Foley and Kassig," said Katz. "That said, involving Mu'adh al-Kasasibah ensures that Jordan will have direct interest in the release of Sajida al-Rishawi."
The ar-Raqqah provincial division of IS in Syria reported of al-Kasasibah's capture on December 24, 2014. Since then, the group has published various interviews with civilians of IS calling for his execution.
"The Islamic State is doing all it can to achieve its demand regarding Sajida al-Rishawi," said Katz. "If the group's demand is indeed met, her release would be perceived by those within the group as a large victory, and thus provide a huge boost to their morale."