A new video released by the Islamic state militants a few minutes back purports to show the Jordanian fighter pilot in their custody since December 2014 being burnt alive. Muath al-Kasaesbeh had been taken hostage by the militant organization after a fighter jet he was flying crashed over Syria as he was on a bombing mission against the insurgents.
If true, this would be the first instance of the ISIS choosing to burn their hostage alive- the earlier killings being beheadings carried out by Jihadi John. Reuters could not immediately confirm the video, which shows a man resembling the pilot standing in a black cage before he was set ablaze.
The man shown as being burned alive in the ISIS video is seen wearing orange clothes similar to those worn by other foreign ISIS captives who have been killed since a U.S.-led coalition started bombing the militants in July.
Kasasbeh’s execution is likely also to raise tensions in Jordan, where his politically prominent family had demanded the government engage in negotiations and work out an arrangement that would ensure his safe release.
Jordanian government had gone on to express willingness to release the failed female Iraqi suicide bomber Sajida al Rishawi who has been on a death row since 2005. Rishawi was behind bars for her role or a series of bombings that killed at least 57 people. After Japanese war journalist Kenji Goto was beheaded few days back, the government had demanded proof of Kasabeh’s well being before proceeding on to release their female prisoner.
That had led to an impasse.
Since the ISIS has never hidden the truth or misrepresented the fate of its foreign captives, there are little reasons, if at all, to doubt that the man being shown in the video is indeed the Jordanian pilot. The gruesome video shows a man dressed in orange being placed in a steel cage and then doused with a liquid (perhaps inflammable) and then being set aflame.