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Fate of ISIS captives up in the air

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By Greg Botelho and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

As the sun set Thursday in the Middle East, did two ISIS captives -- one a Jordanian pilot, the other a Japanese journalist -- fall with it?

That was the question following a new message, purportedly from the terrorist group, that pushed Jordan to bring convicted terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi to the Turkish border by 5:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET). If they didn't, according to the message, Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh would be killed, followed soon thereafter by Kenji Goto of Japan.

For days, Jordanian officials have said they're willing to swap al-Rishawi for al-Kassasbeh.

Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani reiterated as much late Thursday afternoon, about an hour before the purported deadline. He said Jordan is not about to pull off a deal yet, having received no proof that its pilot is still alive.

"We need a proof of life so we can proceed," the government spokesman said.

If Jordan gets such proof and releases al-Rishawi, it is not clear whether that would mean Goto also goes free. Or al-Kassasbeh, for that matter.

So the drama continues, with so much unsettled and so much on the line.

Early Friday, Japan's foreign minister described the situation as "still fluid and changing."

"We need to continue to deal with this in a state of alert," Fumio Kishida told reporters.

ISIS has shown its willingness to kill hostages before, the first being American journalist James Foley last summer and the latest being Haruna Yukawa, an aspiring security contractor from Japan reportedly killed last week.

But is it willing to negotiate with governments that are fighting to stop its brutal, expansive campaign to expand what it calls the Islamic State?

 

Read More: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/29/world/isis-japan-jordan-hostages/

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Guest Friday, 15 November 2019