A video file posted online Tuesday purports to relay a new message from Japanese ISIS hostage Kenji Goto: He and a captive Jordanian military pilot will be killed in the next 24 hours if Jordan doesn’t release a convicted would-be suicide bomber.
It is the second purported message from Goto in four days. If authentic, it is the first time ISIS is publicly linking the fates of Goto and the captive Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, whom ISIS captured after his jet crashed last month in Syria.
The latest file, posted Tuesday morning to YouTube and distributed on social media by known ISIS supporters, appears to show a static image of Goto, alone, in handcuffs and wearing orange, holding a picture of who appears to be al-Kassasbeh.
Over the image, a voice purporting to be Goto’s restates Saturday’s apparent ISIS proposal: Goto would go free if Jordan releases longtime prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi.
This time, it’s still a one-for-one swap, but now both the lives of Goto and the Jordanian pilot are threatened if it doesn’t go through. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of Tuesday’s message.
“I’ve been told this is my last message, and I’ve also been told that the barrier obstructing my freedom is now just the Jordanian government delaying the handover of Sajida,” the voice says in English in Tuesday’s post. “Tell the Japanese government to put all the political pressure on Jordan.”
“Her for me — a straight exchange,” the voice says. “Any more delays by the Jordanian government will mean they are responsible for the death of their pilot, which will then be followed by mine.
“I only have 24 hours left to live, and the pilot has even less.”
The nearly two-minute video, posted Tuesday morning EST, makes no mention of releasing pilot al-Kassasbeh, even if al-Rishawi is released.
The video is similar to a post from Saturday, which alleged that ISIS had killed a different Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.
Saturday’s post shows a static image of Goto, holding what appears to be a photo of beheaded compatriot Yukaka. A voice, purporting to be Goto’s, says that Yukawa was killed because Japan hadn’t answered a previous ISIS demand of $200 million for the Japanese captives’ freedom.
Saturday’s voice also said that the captors no longer demanded money, but rather a Goto-for-al-Rishawi swap.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that experts were analyzing Saturday’s video, but that it seemed “highly credible.” U.S. authorities said they had no reason to doubt its authenticity.
Al-Rishawi is an Iraqi woman facing the death penalty in Jordan for her role in a series of bombings that killed dozens of people at hotels in the Arab kingdom in 2005. Authorities said she tried to take part in the massacre, but her explosives failed.
Militants say they captured al-Kassasbeh, the Jordanian pilot, after he ejected from his crashing F-16 last month, having taken part in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes near ISIS’ de-facto capital, Raqqa, Syria.
Jordan is participating in an American-led mission against ISIS, an organization seeking to establish a caliphate, or Islamic State, and has wrested territory spanning from central Syria to about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
Goto, 47, and Yukawa, 42, had gone to the Middle East for different reasons. Goto is an experienced freelance journalist covering the conflict in Iraq and Syria. Yukawa is an aspiring security contractor who felt at home in the war-torn region. They ended up in the hands of ISIS in recent months.