ISIS Video Purports To Show Jordanian Pilot Burned Alive
CBS News – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video purporting to show captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh being burned alive two days after Jordan renewed an offer to swap an al Qaeda prisoner for the hostage.
The video, released on social media sites, bore the symbol of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s al-Furqan media arm, according to terrorism watchdog SITE Intelligence Group. CBS News could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video but the Jordanian government confirmed on Tuesday that the pilot had been killed. State television reported that the execution happened on January 3.
According to SITE Intelligence Group, the video shows al-Kasasibah, bearing a black eye, talking about Jordan’s involvement in the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS. At the end of the video, al-Kasasibah is seen inside of a cage apparently being burned alive by militants, the group said.
The 20-minute-long video featured the slick production and graphics used in previous videos released by the group.
The head of the Jordanian armed forces told al-Kasaesbeh’s family that he had been killed, a relative told Reuters.
President Obama said Tuesday if the video is real, it shows the “viciousness” of ISIS and would encourage the global coalition to redouble its efforts to degrade and destroy the militant group.
Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the U.S. was working to confirm its authenticity.
“The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all those held captive by ISIL,” Meehan said, using another acronym used for ISIS. “We stand in solidarity with the Government of Jordan and the Jordanian people.”
Over the weekend, another ISIS video purportedly showed the militants beheading a Japanese hostage.
ISIS last week demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an al Qaeda prisoner who faces death by hanging for her role in triple hotel bombings in Jordan in 2005.
Jordan offered last week to release her for the pilot, but the militants didn’t say at the time if they were considering such a deal. An audio message last week, purportedly from ISIS, only said the pilot would be killed if al-Rishawi was not released Thursday.
The deadline passed after Jordan said it could not free her without proof the pilot is alive. In a phone interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said his government had still not received any proof that al-Kaseasbeh was still alive.