Kenji Goto, Muath al-Kasaesbeh and Sajida al-Rishawi: The three people at the centre of the Isis hostage crisis

Kenji Goto and Muath al-Kasaesbeh are being held captive by the group, who are demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi

Heather Saul@heatheranne9
Thursday 29 January 2015 11:06
The mother of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh at a demonstration in Amman, when the Jordanian government was urged to negotiate with Isis for the release of her son
The mother of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh at a demonstration in Amman, when the Jordanian government was urged to negotiate with Isis for the release of her son

A hostage situation continues to unfold as Jordan and Japan face demands from Isis militants holding their citizens captive.

A new message purportedly from the group set yet another deadline for the release of an Iraqi female militant being detained in Jordan.

These are the three people at the heart of the Isis hostage crisis.

Kenji Goto

Japanese journalist Kenji Goto is being held captive by Isis

Kenji Goto, 47, is a respected freelance journalist who reported from various conflict zones for Japanese media.

His last report from the Turkish-Syrian border town of Kobani aired in October. In his final video on YouTube before he was captured he explained why he was heading to Raqqa, an Isis stronghold in Syria. “Syrian people suffering for three-years-and-a-half – it’s enough” he said. “I would like to get the story of what Isis want to do in Syria.”

Mr Goto, a married father, was taken hostage by Isis shortly after his last broadcast. The latest video from Isis features a voice believed to be his warning that a Jordanian pilot will be killed by the group if a female militant is not released by Jordan.

First Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh

Flight Lieutenant Moaz Youssef al-Kasasbeh, 26, was taken hostage when his plane crashed

Muath al-Kasaesbeh, 26, is a Jordanian pilot who was captured when his plane crashed as he conducted US-led coalition air strikes against the group.

In statements printed in Isis’ Dabiq magazine, al-Kasaesbeh says he ejected from the aircraft and landed in the Euphrates River, where he was taken captive by Isis fighters.

Isis claims it shot down the plane with a heat-seeking missile as it was flying near its stronghold of Raqqa. The United States has strenuously denied these claims.

Militants are threatening to kill the pilot unless Sajida al-Rishawi is handed over by Jordan at sunset.

Sajida al-Rishawi

Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi in her apparant confession on Jordanian television in 2005

Sajida al-Rishawi, 46, has been detained in Jordan for nine years over a 2005 bomb attack at a wedding reception in Amman that killed more than 57 people.

Al-Rishawi’s husband succeeded in detonating his explosive vest but her belt failed to detonate and she fled the scene. She was later discovered in a safe house and arrested. She allegedly admitted her part in the attack in a televised confession, saying: “My husband executed the attack. I tried to detonate but it failed. People began to run, and I ran out with them."

Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death by hanging following her confession, which she later retracted. She appealed her sentence and is still being detained in Jordan.

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