The Slatest

Japanese Hostage Shown Beheaded in Alleged ISIS Video

Junko Ishido, mother of Kenji Goto, one of two Japanese men being held by Islamist militants, is surrounded by photographers at the beginning of a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo on Jan. 23, 2015.  

Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

A video posted on Twitter accounts that have known links to ISIS shows one of the Japanese hostages holding a photograph of his beheaded compatriot as the terror group makes demands for a prisoner exchange, reports the Site Intelligence Group. In the video, war correspondent Kenji Goto pleads for his life as he holds a photograph that appears to show a beheaded Haruna Yukawa, and says he will be freed if Jordan releases a woman who has been accused of attempting to become a suicide bomber. The video comes four days after ISIS released a video demanding $200 million within 72 hours, notes CNN.

Japanese officials said Saturday they were investigating the video amid disagreements over its authenticity, notes the Associated Press. Many are skeptical because the content of the video appeared to be a broad departure from previously released messages. Rita Katz of Site says “top ISIS followers” insist the video is authentic even though “it didn’t follow the usual style of ISIS releases.”

“This is an outrageous and unacceptable act,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a brief televised statement, reports Reuters. Government ministers immediately convened an emergency meeting.