ISIS Gives Japan 72 Hours to Pay $200M Ransom

Video shows two hostages in orange jumpsuits
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2015 1:44 AM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2015 7:16 AM CST
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, and his wife, Akie, visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
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(Newser) – In a video released online today, ISIS threatens to kill two Japanese hostages unless it receives a $200 million ransom in the next 72 hours. The video, posted on militant websites associated with the extremist group, mirrors other hostage threats it has made. The militant in it also directly addresses Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now on a six-day visit to the Middle East with more than 100 government officials and presidents of Japanese companies. "You willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade," says the knife-brandishing militant in the video, who appears to be the British militant involved in other filmed beheadings. "You have proudly donated $100 million to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims."

The video shows two hostages in orange jumpsuits whom the militants identify as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa. Japan's Foreign Ministry's anti-terrorism division has seen the video and analysts are assessing it, a ministry official says. In August, a Japanese citizen believed to be Yukawa, a private military company operator in his early 40s, was kidnapped in Syria. His reason for going to Syria remains unclear. Goto is a Japanese freelance journalist who went to report on Syria's civil war last year.

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