By Rakesh Raman
While the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had agreed to release its captive – a Jordanian pilot – if Jordan released the convicted terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi, the deadline fixed by ISIS for the prisoner swap has elapsed.
The terrorist group had asked Jordan to bring ISIS accomplice Ms. Rishawi to Turkish border by 5:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET) today (Thursday) – failing which ISIS will execute Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.
The Jordanian government had agreed for the swap. However, a few hours before the release of Ms. Rishawi, Jordan asked ISIS to provide it with proof of life of its pilot – a proof that he is still alive.
As the prisoner swap didn’t happen, the fate of Moaz al-Kassasbeh is not clear. Similarly, Goto of Japan may also be murdered by ISIS, which had not stated if Goto will also be released along with Moaz al-Kassasbeh in exchange for Ms. Rishawi.
Reportedly, ISIS has already killed one of the two Japanese hostages; Haruna Yukawa was executed by ISIS on Saturday.
Earlier, ISIS had demanded $200 million from Japan for the release of both Japanese hostages. When Japan didn’t pay the ransom, ISIS killed one of the hostages and also renewed its demand.
In the new demand, ISIS message asked for the release of Ms. Rishawi, a woman arrested in Jordan in 2005 on suspicion of trying to take part in an attack in which others killed dozens at Jordanian hotels.
After capturing the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh, ISIS had published an interview with him in its magazine Dabiq, which was released last month.
In the introduction of the published interview, ISIS had said, “an apostate pilot flying for the crusader alliance was captured by the Islamic State after his plane was shot down with a heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile. The successful hitting of the target and subsequent crash was by Allah’s permission. All praise and thanks is due to Him alone.”
While concluding the interview, ISIS asked the pilot if he knew what the Islamic State will do with him. His reply was: “Yes… They will kill me… ”
So, has he been killed?
You also can read: More Articles by the RMN Editor, Rakesh Raman
Photos courtesy: ISIS, Dabiq