We perish because we know not… #TLENews
The Islamic State released a video Tuesday showing a Jordanian pilot held captive by the group being burned alive.
The release of the video came just days after the militants beheaded a Japanese journalist. Jordanian TV reported that the burning of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, actually took place Jan. 3.
The video, which could not be independently verified, was released by the Islamic State’s media arm, according to the IntelCenter, which monitors extremist websites.
The tape — produced by the al-Furqan Media Foundation — marks the first time a high profile hostage has been killed by fire, IntelCenter said in a statement. In the past, hostages have been beheaded or shot.
“It shows how the group is continually evolving its methods to gain the maximum exposure for its actions,” the IntelCenter statement said.
The White House said the intelligence community is working to confirm the video’s authenticity and called on the Islamic State to release all captives being held by the militants.
Al-Kaseasbeh was captured by the Islamic State in December after his aircraft crashed over Syria. He was the first foreign military pilot to be captured since a U.S.-led coalition began airstrikes on the militants last year.
The 22 minute, 34 second video titled Healing of the Believers’ Chests shows media footage of Jordan’s involvement in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State and then shows al-Kaseasbeh — bearing a black eye — discussing Jordan’s operations in a news-style monologue.
Afterward, the video goes back and forth between shots of al-Kaseasbeh surrounded by fighters and shots of the aftermath of bombings. At the end of the video, al-Kaseasbeh stands inside a cage and is burned alive by the militants.
Last week, Jordan’s government agreed to release an al-Qaeda prisoner in exchange for the pilot’s safe return, but the deal fell through.
The Islamic State had sought the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman facing execution for her role in triple hotel bombings in Jordan in 2005. In an audio message last week, the group said the pilot would be killed if al-Rishawi was not released by sunset Thursday. That deadline passed, and Jordan said it wanted proof the pilot was still alive before releasing her.
On Sunday, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani Jordan is “still ready to hand over” al-Rishawi in return for the pilot.