Wednesday, February 4, 2015

(+18 Only) BREAKING: ISIS claims in video to have burned Jordanian Fighter pilot alive ; Amman vows revenge


The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot, in the jihadists' most recent execution yet of a foreign hostage.

The highly produced 22-minute video released online showed images of a man purported to be the pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh, who was captured in December, engulfed in flames inside a metal cage.


Later on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces confirmed the death of a pilot captured by the Islamic State extremist group and vowed "punishment and revenge."

"The military forces announce that the hero pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, has fallen as a martyr, and ask God to accept him with the martyrs," Mamdouh al-Ameri said in a statement read on Jordanian TV.


"While the military forces mourn the martyr, they emphasize his blood will not be shed in vain. Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians."


Jordanian state television confirmed the death and said Kassasbeh had been killed on January 3, before the jihadists offered to spare his life and free a Japanese journalist in return for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber held in Jordan.


US President Barack Obama immediately denounced the purported killing.

"Should in fact this video be authentic, it's just one more indication of the viciousness (and) barbarity of this organisation," Obama said.


He said it would "redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of the global coalition to make sure" the IS group is "ultimately defeated".


Kassasbeh, a 26-year-old first lieutenant in the Jordanian air force, was captured on December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission over northern Syria as part of the US-led coalition campaign against the jihadists.


The video released on Tuesday shows footage of Kassasbeh sitting at a table discussing coalition operations against IS, with flags from the various Western and Arab countries in the alliance projected in the background.

Kasaesbeh

A relative of Islamic State Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh walks past a poster of Mazz in front of his clan's headquarters in Amman 


It then shows Kassasbeh dressed in an orange jumpsuit and surrounded by armed and masked IS fighters in camouflage.

It cuts to him standing inside the cage and apparently soaked in petrol before a masked jihadist uses a torch to light a trail of flame that runs to the cage and burns him alive.


The release of the video of the pilot's purported murder came days after IS beheaded a second Japanese hostage within a week.


IS had vowed to kill the second Japanese man, Kenji Goto, and Kassasbeh by sunset on January 29 unless Amman handed over Iraqi jihadist and would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row in Jordan.


Kassasbeh's plane was the first loss of an aircraft since the coalition launched strikes against the jihadists last year.


Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain are taking part in the coalition air strikes in Syria. Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France and the Netherlands are participating in Iraq.


The extremist group seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria last year, declaring an Islamic "caliphate" and committing a wave of atrocities.

IS claimed in a video released online Saturday that it had killed 47-year-old Goto, after previously murdering another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.


The group had initially demanded a $200 million ransom for the Japanese hostages -- the same amount Tokyo had promised in non-military aid to countries affected by IS.

It had previously beheaded two US journalists, an American aid worker and two British aid workers in similar highly choreographed videos.


Jordan had vowed to do everything it could to save the pilot but had demanded proof he was still alive before handing over Rishawi.

IS had previously published what it said was an interview with the pilot in which he said his plane was hit by a heat-seeking missile.


IS claimed to have shot down his plane but both Jordan and the United States said it had crashed in an accident.


Kassasbeh's family had urged IS to release the recently married pilot, with his father Safi asking the jihadist group to show "mercy".

After the killing of Goto, the UN Security Council on Sunday condemned the "heinous and cowardly" murder, calling for "the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage" by the group.


Jordan to execute five Iraqi Jihadists after IS burnt alive pilot Kassasbeh

Jordan will execute Iraqi jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi and four other jihadists convicted of committing deadly terrorist attacks in the country, Sky News Arabia reported.


Earlier on Tuesday, a video posted on social media by the Islamic State claimed that the IS burnt alive the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh who was captured by the Jihadists in December 2014. 


King Abdullah of Jordan

Jordan pilot was killed one month ago: State TV

Jordan responds to IS announcement on Tuesday of killing of its pilot

State television said Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh whom the Islamic State group claimed to have burnt alive in a video posted online Tuesday was already killed a month ago.


It said he was killed on January 3, before the jihadists offered to spare his life and free a Japanese journalist in return for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row in Jordan.

Amman insisted on proof that the pilot, captured on December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission over northern Syria, was alive before any exchange.


Jordan's King Abdullah (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington February 3, 2015

Jordanian King Abdullah cuts short visit to United States, returns to Jordan: State TV

Jordanian King Abdullah cut short a visit to the United States on Tuesday after Islamic State militants released a video purporting to show a captive Jordanian pilot being burnt alive.


"His Majesty the King, the supreme commander of the armed forces, has cut his visit to the United States after the news of the martyrdom of the hero pilot," state television said.

Egypt's El-Sisi calls Jordanian pilot killing "savage act"

President expresses support for Jordan after IS releases video purportedly showing Jordanian pilot’s burned alive

Sisi and Abdullah

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, left, greets Jordan's King Abdullah II during his inauguration ceremonies at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 8, 2014


Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State, calling the militant group "a savage cowardly organisation that violates all heavenly doctrines,"  As reported.

El-Sisi confirmed Egypt's support to Jordan at this time.


The international community needs to unite to fight terrorism in all its forms and to confront the terrorist groups that use Islamic slogans, even though religion has nothing to do with their actions, he said.


A video released by IS on Tuesday purportedly showed Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh being burnt alive, after he was captured by the group when his fighter jet crashed near the IS-controlled Syrian town of Raqqa in December.

A spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces has confirmed Kassasbeh's death and vowed "punishment and revenge," As reported.

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati had earlier called the execution a "barbaric, cowardly, brutal and hideous act."

Egypt has also faces a growing wave of jihadist attacks, the latest of which claimed the lives of at least 30 people in a series of bombings in North Sinai on Thursday. The assault was claimed by Sinai-based IS-affiliate Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

Jordanian king says pilot's killing is act of "cowardly terror"

KA

Jordan's King Abdullah said on Thursday the killing of pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh by Islamic State militants was an act of cowardly terror by a group that had nothing to do with Islam.

"This (is) cowardly terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam ... It's the duty of all citizens to stand together," he said in a short televised appearance.

The king cut short a visit to Washington after the news of the pilot's death. 

Jordan to execute female would-be bomber at dawn: Security sources 

Jordan

This combination of two photographs shows the detail of a poster of an undated photograph of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, left, used during a demonstration calling for his release from the Islamic State group and a still image from video, right, of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack on a hotel that killed 60 people

Jordan will execute Wednesday an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row and other jihadists after having vowed to avenge the murder of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State jihadists, an official said.

"The sentence of death pending on... Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi will be carried out at dawn," the security official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.


Rishawi, the would-be bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and IS had offered to spare the life of the Jordanian fighter pilot, Lieutenant Muath al-Kassasbeh, if she were released.


"The death sentence will be carried out on a group of jihadists, starting with Rishawi, as well as Iraqi Al-Qaeda operative Ziad Karbuli and others who attacked Jordan's interests," the security source said.

"Jordan's response will be earth-shattering," Information Minister Mohammed Momani said earlier on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot's murder.


"Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong," said Momani, who is also government spokesman.

"The pilot did not belong to a specific tribe or come from a specific governorate, he was the son of all Jordanians, who stand united," he said.

State television also reported that King Abdullah II of Jordan would cut short a visit to Washington and return home in the wake of the pilot's murder.


The king had held talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Tuesday before going into a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill.


One of America's most stalwart allies in the Middle East, Jordan is taking part in US-led air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria along with several other Arab countries.

Jordan executes jihadists after IS murder of pilot

Jordan

Supporters and family members of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh gather outside the tribal gathering chamber, in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, 3, 2015

Jordan executes jihadists after IS murder of pilot


Jordan executed two death-row jihadists at dawn on Wednesday after vowing an "earth-shattering" response to avenge the burning alive of one of its fighter pilots by the Islamic State group.

Would-be Iraqi female suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and Iraqi Al-Qaeda member Ziad al-Karboli were hanged at 4:00 am local time (0200 GMT), government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said.


A security source said the executions were carried out at Swaqa prison south of the capital Amman in the presence of an Islamic legal official.

Jordan had promised to begin executing Islamic extremists on death row at daybreak in response to the murder of Muath al- Al-Kassasbeh, who was captured by IS when his plane went down in Syria in December.


Rishawi, 44, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005 and IS had offered to spare  Al-Kassasbeh's life and free a Japanese hostage -- who was later beheaded -- if she were released.


Karboli was sentenced to death in 2007 on terrorism charges, including the killing of a Jordanian in Iraq.

Jordan had on Tuesday vowed to avenge the killing of  Al-Kassasbeh, hours after a harrowing video emerged online purporting to show the caged 26-year-old F-16 fighter pilot engulfed in flames.


The video -- the most brutal yet in a series of gruesome recorded killings of hostages by IS -- prompted global revulsion and vows of continued international efforts to combat the Sunni Muslim extremist group.


Jordan, a crucial ally of Washington in the Middle East, is one of five Arab countries that has joined a US-led coalition of countries carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq.


Jordan's King Abdullah II, who was visiting Washington as the video came to light, recorded a televised address to his shocked and outraged nation.

The king, once in the military himself, described  Al-Kassasbeh as a hero and vowed to take the battle to IS.

The army and government vowed to avenge the pilot's murder, with Momani saying: "Jordan's response will be earth-shattering".


"Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong," he said.

US President Barack Obama, who hosted Abdullah in a hastily organised Oval Office meeting, led international condemnation of the murder, decrying the "cowardice and depravity" of IS.


"The president and King Abdullah reaffirmed that the vile murder of this brave Jordanian will only serve to steel the international community's resolve to destroy ISIL," a National Security Council spokesman said after the pair met, using an alternative name for IS.

The Obama administration had earlier reaffirmed its intention to give Jordan $3 billion in security aid over the next three years.


 Al-Kassasbeh was captured in December when his jet crashed over northern Syria on a mission that was part of the coalition air campaign against the jihadists.


Jordanian state television suggested he was killed on January 3, before IS offered to spare his life and free Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in return for Rishawi's release.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called the murder "sickening" while UN chief Ban Ki-moon labelled it an "appalling act".


Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned it as "unforgivable".

The highly choreographed 22-minute video shows  Al-Kassasbeh at a table recounting coalition operations against IS, with flags from the various Western and Arab countries in the alliance projected in the background.


It then shows  Al-Kassasbeh dressed in an orange jumpsuit and surrounded by armed and masked IS fighters in camouflage.


It cuts to him standing inside a cage and apparently soaked in petrol before a masked jihadist uses a torch to light a trail of flame that runs to the cage and burns him alive.


The video also offered rewards for the killing of other "crusader" pilots.

IS had previously beheaded two US journalists, an American aid worker and two British aid workers in similar highly choreographed videos.


Shiraz Maher, from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London, described the footage as "simply the most horrific, disgusting thing I have seen from Islamic State in the last two years".


"They clearly want to make a real point. This is the first individual whom they have captured who has been directly involved with the Western coalition in fighting IS. It is different from the aid workers... This is an act of belligerence.


"Every time you think they cannot commit anything worse -- they open up another trapdoor."

The Islamic State group last year declared an Islamic "caliphate" as it rampaged across Iraq and Syria in a brutal offensive of executions and forced religious conversions.


 Al-Kassasbeh's plane was the first loss of an aircraft since the US-led coalition launched strikes against IS last year.


US Central Command said that the group still had the ability "to conduct small-scale operations" despite months of air strikes.


Activists drawing as isis flag

But, it said, "their capacity to do so is degraded and their momentum is stalling."