ISIS burning Jordanian Pilot to death – Discretion advised
Muath Safi Yousef Al-Kasasbeh was a Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot who was captured and burned to death by the militant jihadist group ISIL after his F-16 fighter aircraft crashed over Syria.
His fighter crashed near Raqqa, Syria, on 24 December 2014 during the military intervention against the Islamic State. United States and Jordanian officials said that the crash was caused by mechanical problems, while ISIL claimed that the plane was hit by a heat-seeking missile. ISIS burning Jordanian pilot to death and making a movie about it was during the height of their power.
ISIL held Al-Kasasbeh captive before killing him in early January 2015. It then conducted negotiations with the Jordanian government, claiming it would spare Al-Kasabeh’s life and free Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in exchange for Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman sentenced to death by Jordan for attempted terrorism and possessing explosives. After the Jordanian government insisted on freeing Al-Kasasbeh as part of the deal and showing proof that he was alive before it would exchange al-Rishawi, ISIS released a video on 3 February 2015 showing Al-Kasasbeh being burned to death while trapped inside a cage.
Al-Kasasbeh’s killing provoked widespread outrage in Jordan, and condemnation by leading figures of the Islamic world and subsequently led the Jordanian government to sentence already captured ISIL militants to death in retaliation over the killing. Iran also cited his burning as one of the reasons in the 2017 Deiz ez-Zor missile attacks.
ISIS supporters used the Arabic hashtag #SuggestAWayToKillTheJordanianPilotPig on Twitter, crowdsourcing and publicizing their execution of al-Kasasbeh. A film released by the group showed al-Kasasbeh was burned to death by ISIS members in January 2015. His killing was recorded on video and shown near the end of a 22-minute “snuff film” entitled Healing the Believers’ Chests, credited to the ISIS official Al Furqan Media Foundation and distributed via a Twitter account known as a source for IS propaganda, and on video-sharing sites.
The video shows him with a black left eye, first at a table and then confined in a black steel cage outdoors and dressed in an orange jumpsuit before an ISIL militant sets alight a trail doused in gasoline leading towards the cage. He was burned alive while numerous armed ISIL fighters in sand-colored balaclavas and desert-style camouflage watched on from a distance. A truck finally extinguishes the fire by dumping rocks and sand on it.
Before he was burned to death, al-Kasasbeh was made to reveal the names and workplaces of a number of his fellow Royal Jordanian Air Force pilots. Their names and photographs were displayed at the end of the video, with an ISIS bounty offer of 100 gold dinars (approximately $20,000) for each Jordanian Air Force pilot killed.
Most Western media outlets refused to show the full video, sometimes describing it or showing images immediately preceding al-Kasasbeh’s immolation. Fox News posted the complete video on its website.
The Jordanian government assessed that al-Kasasbeh was killed by burning on 3 January, rather than 3 February, when the video was released on Twitter. If correct, it would confirm that the ISIS never intended to exchange him for al-Rishawi. Other news reports suggest that he may have been killed a few days later, on 8 January, according to a tweet posted by a Syrian activist from Raqqa that day claiming he saw individuals from ISIS celebrating the death of al-Kasasbeh on 8 January. It was reported that al-Kasasbeh was deprived of food beginning five days before he was killed.
On 25 February 2015, al-l’tisam, a media arm of ISIS, released a video entitled Message to Jordan. It showed new excerpts from the video of al-Kasasbeh’s burning
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