Two Japanese men being held hostage by ISIS are being threatened with beheading. One captive is a self-proclaimed military consultant who went to the war zone after his wife passed away from cancer. The second is a journalist who has dedicated his life to unveiling the horrors that go hand-in-hand with war.
In a newly released videl, Jihadi John, the British fighter who has been on video with several beheadings said the two men, Haruma Yukawa and Kenji Goto-Jogo had just 72 hours to live unless $200 million was handed over as ransom. This demand is a new ploy seen in a series of propaganda videos released by Jihadi John.
In the video, both men were seen wearing the same orange jumpsuits that prior beheading victims had worn. In his traditional London accent, Jihadi John made a reference to a pledge the Japanese government had made whereby $200 million would be given to countries impacted by the horrendous acts of ISIS. The money, which was to be donated by Japan for the killing of innocent children and woman, is said in the video to now be payment for the men’s lives, $100 million each.
Although a tremendous amount of effort has been made to determine who Jihadi John is, his real identity remains a mystery. However, he is the same man who narrated the videos showing the beheading of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning, and Peter Kassig.
In the last video released last November, Jihadi John was seen standing with Mr. Kassig’s severed head but in addition, it showed the mass decapitation of approximately 20 soldiers and airmen captured from Syria.
The new video has created mixed responses from Japan, which included statements that saving the men’s lives was an immediate priority. However, Japan’s government also vowed not to give into the demands made by ISIS. In a statement from Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, the men are demanded not to be harmed and released immediately.
Collectively, countries will not give into terrorism, regardless of the form and will continue to work together in the fight against it. While not confirmed, it suggests that Japan is committed to working closely with the United States and Britain. He added that the priority is to save the men’s lives but not engaging the military, rather more of a rescue type operation.