On Sunday the Islamic State posted a video of the beheading of Kenji Goto- a Japanese journalist captured in October of 2014. Goto was in Syria to secure the release of Haruna Yukawa- a Japanese adventurer captured in August of 2014. Haruna Yukawa was beheaded less than a week before Goto was. This is the seventh video of a high profile Western hostage being beheaded posted by ISIS.
It is believed that ISIS demanded $200 million for the two Japanese hostages as retribution for the Prime Minister of Japan- Shinzo Abe- pledging the same amount in non-military aid for countries fighting against ISIS. The Prime Minister said Japan “would not give into terrorism” and would continue efforts to fight ISIS.
Japanese officials were working with Jordanian officials to secure the releases of Goto and a Jordanian pilot. Lt. Moaz al-Kasabeh was shot down while flying over Syria in December during air-strikes against the Islamic State. The extremists threatened to kill the pilot if Jordan did not release Sajida al-Rishawi. Ms. Rishawi was a suicide bomber who failed to complete her mission; she has been sitting in a jail cell for nine years.