The Slatest

ISIS Releases Japanese Hostage Video; Demands $200 Million Ransom

ISIS releases new hostage video.

Screenshot ISIS video

ISIS released another video on Tuesday showing what appear to be two Japanese hostages the militants are threatening to kill unless a $200 million ransom is paid. The video identified the men as freelance journalist Kenji Goto, and Haruna Yukawa, a contractor with a private military company.

Here’s more on the video from Reuters:

A black-clad figure with a knife, standing in a barren landscape along with two kneeling men wearing orange clothing, said the Japanese public had 72 hours to pressure their government to stop its “foolish” support for the U.S.-led coalition waging a military campaign against Islamic State. “To the prime minister of Japan: Although you are more than 8,500 km away from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade,” said the militant, who spoke in English.

The video is undated, but the amount of $200 million comes days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed the very same amount to help combat the group. “The video, posted on militant Web sites, widened the reach of the Islamic State’s hostage-taking to a nation normally on the fringe of Middle Eastern affairs,” according to the Washington Post. “It also suggested a shift in tactics by the group to openly set a price for the freedom of captives rather than previous behind-the-scenes ransom demands.”