MeforHer; Would The Real ISIS Please Stand Up?

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A masked person holding a knife speaks as he stands in between two kneeling men in this still image taken from an online video released by the militant Islamic State group on January 20, 2015.

Credit: nydailynews.com

“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at Gunpoint.”
-Christopher Hitchens. This quote is quite appropriate to the scene happening in Japan and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL).

The sudden escalation of the hostage crisis has become a test for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the dominant news story in Japan since Tuesday (20th January, 2014) when Islamic state militants released a video showing two men identified as Japanese hostages Goto and Yukawa kneeling with a knife-wielding, masked man demanding a 200$million ransom for their release and gave 72 hours as a deadline. This 72 hour deadline expired on Friday.

“Everybody is worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way. Stop participating in it.”-Noam Chomsky. Japan’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said last week that responding to demands set by the Islamic state would mean “giving in to terrorism”. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other officials have said Japan will press ahead with plans to offer over $200 million in humanitarian aid to help deal with refugees displaced by Islamic state.

Japan's PM Abe speaks to the media at his official residence in Tokyo

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) speaks to the media at his official residence in Tokyo in this January 25, 2015 photo by Kyodo. REUTERS/Kyodo

Seeing their demands are not fulfilled, Islamic- state linked Twitter accounts distributed a video in which japanese hostage Kenji Goto Jogo stated that his fellow captive Haruna Yukawa was executed and stipulated a new demand from the islamic state for his release. ISIS’s inhumanity stands in sharp contrast to the generous humanitarian aid Japan has provided to the Iraqi and Syrian people in recent months.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) speaks to the media at his official residence in Tokyo in this January 25, 2015 photo by Kyodo. REUTERS/Kyodo

Seeing their demands are not fulfilled, Islamic- state linked Twitter accounts distributed a video in which japanese hostage Kenji Goto Jogo stated that his fellow captive Haruna Yukawa was executed and stipulated a new demand from the islamic state for his release. ISIS’s inhumanity stands in sharp contrast to the generous humanitarian aid Japan has provided to the Iraqi and Syrian people in recent months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYYOI67GUfU

The release of the video sparked claims and counter claims on terrorist-related websites. It was notably different from the previous videos in that it depicted a static shot of Goto holding a photo while the audio played it did not show him speaking or moving. One militant on an Islamic State affiliated website warned that Saturday’s new message was a fake; while another said that the message was intended to go only to the Japanese journalist’s family. Japan Government Officials said they had not confirmed the authenticity of the recording and an image of what appeared to be the decapitated body of Japanese captive Haruna Yukawa, who went missing in Syria last August. Two US Government sources said that while the authenticity of the recording is still being evaluated, the US government does assess that Yukawa has been killed.

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In the apparent recording, Goto says Yukawa was “slaughtered in the land of the Islamic Caliphate”. But the journalist said that the Government of Japan could save him by working through Jordan where Shinzo Abe set up an office earlier this week to coordinate the Government’s response to Hostage situation. Goto says the militants would release him in exchange for the release of Al-Qaeda a linked attempted female suicide bomber Sajida-al-Rishawi, an Iraqi held in Jordan. He says the militants have dropped the ransom demand. Japan need not fund into the terrorism. “I would like to stress how easy it is to save my life” the recording says. “You bring them their sister from the Jordanian regime, and I will be released immediately. Me for her” Sajida-al- Rishawi is currently in prison in Jordan. During the 2005 attack in Amman her suicide belt didn’t detonate and she survived. Later, she was captured and confessed, but later retracted her confession. She was sentenced to death in 2006, but appealed to the court and the case is still in process of appeal.

“Terrorism has once again shown it is prepared deliberately to stop at nothing in creating human victims. An end must put to this. As never before, it is vital to unite forces of the entire world community against terror”-Vladimir Putin.

Mr.Shizo Abe called an emergency meeting of senior ministers that began at around 1:20 am as his government demanded “the remaining hostage” set immediately free. Mr. Abe said “Fully aware of unbearable pain and sorrow that his family must be feeling, I am simply left speechless. Such act of terrorism is outrageous and impermissible which causes me nothing but strong indignation.”

US President Barack Obama stated “ We stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Japan and applaud its commitment to peace and development in a region far from its shores, we will work together to bring the perpetrators of these murders to justice and will continue to take decisive action to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL”. In recent years, Japan has moved towards the US government’s hard line against paying ransoms after a 1977 case in which it paid $6 million to Japanese Red Army hijackers.

Sajida-al-Rishawi prisoner in Jordan

Junko Ishido, mother of Japanese Journalist Kenji Goto, who had appeared before reporters in an emotional plea for his release, said she remained hopeful.

 

By Pavani Chennamasetti

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