AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — An online video released Saturday night purported to show an Islamic State group militant behead Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, ending days of negotiations by diplomats to save the man.
The video, released on militant websites and highlighted by militant sympathizers on social media sites, bore the symbol of the Islamic State group’s al-Furqan media arm.
Though the video could not be immediately independently verified by The Associated Press, it conformed to other beheading videos released by the extremists, who now control a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq in its self-declared caliphate.
Video: Islamic State beheads Japanese journalistAn online video released Saturday night purported to show an Islamic State group militant behead Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, ending days of negotiations by diplomats to save the man. CCTV's Stephanie Freid reported more on the story from Amman.
The video, called “A Message to the Government of Japan,” featured a militant who looked and sounded like a militant with a British accent who has taken part in other beheading videos by the Islamic State group. Goto, kneeling in an orange prison jumpsuit, said nothing in the roughly one-minute-long video.
“Abe,” the militant says in the video, referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, “because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this man 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.”
U.S. officials said they were trying to confirm the authenticity of the video.
“We have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen Kenji Goto has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group. “The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all the remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan.”
Goto was captured in October, after he traveled to Syria to try to win the release of Haruna Yukawa.
Yukawa reportedly was killed previously, though authorities have yet to authenticate the video claiming that.
Saturday’s video made no mention of another hostage, Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured after his fighter plane went down in December over an Islamic State-controlled area of Syria. The fate of Goto and al-Kaseasbeh had been linked by the militants.
The hostage drama began last week after militants threatened to kill Goto and Yukawa in 72 hours unless Japan paid $200 million.
Jordan and Japan reportedly conducted indirect negotiations with the militants through Iraqi tribal leaders.
Since the video’s release, a Japanese government spokesman expressed “extreme indignation’ Sunday over a video purportedly from the Islamic State group that shows a militant beheading hostage Kenji Goto.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the Cabinet was convening an emergency meeting and was rushing to confirm the authenticity of the online video.
Suga described the online video as a `deplorable terrorist act.”
CCTV America’s Sean Callebs reported from Washington with more on the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Japan mourns for Kenji Goto following ISIL beheadingCCTV America's Sean Callebs reported from Washington with more on the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Gus Martin discusses ISIL beheading of Japanese journalist
CCTV America interviewed Gus Martin for more insight into ISIL’s beheading of the Japanese journalist. Martin is a Califoria State University professor and the author of Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues.
Gus Martin discusses ISIL beheading of Japanese journalistCCTV America interviewed Gus Martin for more insight into ISIL's beheading of the Japanese journalist. Martin is a Califoria State University professor and the author of Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues.
Ari Ratner discusses ISIL’s propaganda war
CCTV Ameria interviewed Ari Ratner for more on ISIL’s online propaganda war. Ratner worked for the U.S. State Department and is a fellow at a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.
Ari Ratner discusses ISIL's propaganda warCCTV Ameria interviewed Ari Ratner for more on ISIL's online propaganda war. Ratner worked for the U.S. State Department and is a fellow at a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.
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