By: Megan Bias
On Saturday, January 30, a 66 second ISIS video showed the beheading of Japanese reporter Kenji Goto captured late last year by the terrorist group in Syria for refusal to meet their demands. Japanese and U.S. intelligence officials made no immediate comment regarding the videos. According to ABC News, the video was titled “A Message to the Japanese Government” and begins with Kenji Goto on his knees in a valley as a masked man with a knife addresses Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As the knife is put to Kenji Goto’s neck, the masked man says, “Let the nightmare for Japan begin.” According to NPR, the executioner in the video appears to be the same ISIS member that is thought to have killed American journalist James Foley and others.
Kenji Goto went to Syria to tell accounts of lives torn apart by war. A week ago, Kenji Goto was shown holding a photo of his fellow Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, beheaded by ISIS as well. ISIS threatened to kill the hostages unless Japan’s government would pay a ransom of $200 million. When Japan would not give ISIS the money, ISIS demanded that Jordan release suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi. When neither demand was met, the hostages were killed. According to CNN, the Japanese Prime Minister said, “We are deeply saddened by this despicable and horrendous act of terrorism, and we denounce it in the strongest terms,” and President Obama described the act as “barbaric.”