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Jordan announces execution of six ISIS prisoners 'within hours' in retaliation...

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    Jordan announces execution of six ISIS prisoners 'within hours' in retaliation...

    Jordan announces execution of six ISIS prisoners 'within hours' in retaliation after terrorists release lavish video of Jordanian pilot being TORCHED to death in a cage in yet another new low for humanity

    The depravity of the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq plumbed new levels yesterday as it released a video showing Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive while locked in a cage.

    The chilling footage, entitled 'Healing the Believers' Chests', shows the captured airman wearing an orange jumpsuit and seemingly doused in fuel as a trail of petrol leading up to the iron bars of the cage is seen being set alight.

    Flames are seen quickly spreading across the dirt to the cage, where they completely engulf the helpless pilot in images that are far too distressing to publish. Extremists pour debris, including broken masonry, over the cage, which is then flattened by a bulldozer.

    The release of the expertly-edited video - which represents a new level of barbarity from a group notorious for its savagery - has prompted Jordan to announce it will execute all six prisoners convicted of association with ISIS 'within hours'.

    Within an hour of the 22-minute-long video's publication, Jordan reportedly moved ISIS-linked prisoners to a jail in the south of the country which is usually used for state executions.

    It is understood the execution of Sajida al-Rishawi - the female militant whom ISIS had originally demanded Jordan release in exchange for Kasasbeh - will take place tomorrow morning.

    Last night it was reported that Jordanian officials had told the 26 year-old pilot’s devastated family that they believed the footage to be genuine and that the man branded a ‘hero’ in his homeland was dead.

    It was the first time the pilot had been seen since he was captured in December by triumphant ISIS fighters when his F-16 jet crashed near the group’s Syrian headquarters of Raqqa during a US-Coalition led airstrike.

    'Not in vain'

    Mamdouh al-Ameri, spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces, confirmed the pilot's death and vowed revenge.

    In a televised address, he said: 'While the military forces mourn the martyr, they emphasise his blood will not be shed in vain. The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan.'

    King Abdullah II, speaking from his U.S visit in Washington, made a statement on Jordanian TV, saying he had received news of the 'martyrdom with sadness and deep sorrow'.

    Calling the murder a 'cowardly act of terror', he also pleaded for his countrymen to stand 'side-by-side', vowing that Kasasbeh's death 'would only make us stronger'.

    US President Barack Obama says that if the video turns out to be authentic, it would be more evidence of the group's 'viciousness and barbarity.'

    He added that the U.S. would 'redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global coalition to make sure they are degraded and ultimately defeated,' adding that the footage serves to indicate that 'whatever ideology they are operating out of is bankrupt.'

    Prime Minister David Cameron also condemned the 'sickening murder', but said it would only 'strengthen our resolve'.

    He said: 'I pay tribute to the dedication and bravery of Lieutenant Moaz al-Kassasbeh, who paid with his life while protecting his country and us all. My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight at this tragic time.

    'These terrorists' brutal behaviour will only strengthen our resolve... We will not stop until these evil extremists and their poisonous ideology are defeated.'

    Led to his death

    The footage showing Kasasbeh's gruesome murder appears to be professionally shot and edited in the style of the horrific beheading videos featuring the terror group's executioner in chief, Jihadi John.

    The video, which is ISIS' most sickening yet, begins with a lengthy montage showing Jordan's King Abdullah II declaring his support for the anti-ISIS coalition in the style of a TV news report.

    It then cuts to beaten and bruised-looking Kasasbeh sitting in a darkened room wearing a Guantanamo-style orange overall and giving details of his training as a pilot, the anti-ISIS airstrikes he took part in, and details of crash in which his F-16 jet came down in jihadi-held territory.

    At several points the camera zooms in close to his face, on which there is a look of resignation similar to that of other hostages murdered on propaganda videos.

    Unusually, the footage also features close up shots of the masked militants, one of whom later kneels down to set light to the trail of petrol that would eventually burn al-Kasasbeh alive.


    Before cutting to the sickening murder, the video - released by ISIS' Al-Furqan media centre - continues with TV-style news reports showing the dead and dying child victims of coalition airstikes.

    Scars of beatings

    The video then cuts to Kasasbeh standing in the centre of a rubble-strewn courtyard surrounded by heavily-armed militants wearing yellow face masks and military fatigues.

    The pilot’s face bears the scars of beatings. It looks swollen, heavily bruised and bloody in places.

    There is no sound other than that of crows cawing for more than a minute as the HD camera films close-up high definition shots of the soon-to-be victim and his killers.

    Kasasbeh is then seen standing in a cage as a militant - identified at the end of the video by the name Emir Ahmed - uses a large stick to light the trail of petrol leading up to his feet.

    Engulfed by flames

    The enormous flames quickly engulf the pilot, who is seen battling them for more than than a minute before falling to his knees and putting up no further resistance. He remains alive for at least another 30 seconds, however, before falling backwards on to the floor of the cage.

    Fighters then pour debris, including broken masonry, over the cage which a bulldozer flattens, with the body still inside.

    Twisted metal, a mechanical digger and two single-storey buildings are shown in the background of what is believed to be a district of Raqqa.

    Several cameras appear to have been used to film the pilot’s last minutes from a variety of angles. The has been expertly cut together by the group’s propaganda wing – said to include several Britons because of their social media skills.

    Images of the killing were circulated by IS supporters on a Twitter account known for the group’s propaganda although the video was taken down from YouTube.

    Even by the sick standards of IS whose fighters have tortured, beheaded, executed, crucified and stoned its victims – another recently released video showed a man blindfolded and thrown from the seven floor of a tower block for ‘being gay’, incredibly he survived the fall only to be stoned to death - the latest killing plunges new depths.

    Negotiations

    The video comes just days after ISIS' British executioner in chief, Jihadi John, savagely murdered Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in a shocking filmed beheading after days of intensive negotiations through intermediaries to save him.

    His fate had been linked to that of al-Kassasbeh after he was shown holding a picture of the Jordanian – the only Coalition pilot to have been captured.

    Yesterday Jordanian government spokesman Momeni said: 'All state organisations have been mobilised to secure the proof of life that we require so that he can be freed and returned to his home.

    'We are still ready to hand over the convict Sajida al-Rishawi in return for the return of our son and our hero.'

    He condemned the jihadists' murder of Japanese journalist 47-yer-old Goto after days of intensive efforts through intermediaries to save him, adding: 'We spared no effort, in coordination with the Japanese government, to save his life.'

    The release of the horrific footage appears to confirm rumours heard by anti-ISIS activists in the terror group's stronghold Raqqa in early January that the pilot had already been killed by burning.

    Jordanian officials agreed 44 year-old Sajida al-Rishawi, sentenced to death for her part in an Al Qaeda bombing plot that killed 60 people at three hotels in Amman in 2005, would be released but only if the jihadists provided proof that al-Kassasbeh was still alive.

    Jordan had been conducting indirect, behind-the-scenes negotiations through tribal leaders in neighbouring Iraq.

    When no evidence was provided, it raised suspicions that the pilot was already dead and that ISIS was exploiting his case for propaganda, seeking to split the Coalition and turn Jordanians against its controversial role in airstrikes over Syria.

    Protests

    Officials said last night that it was unclear when the video - released yesterday - was made, although there were reports that the killing took place a month ago, on January 3.

    US, British and Israeli video specialists were studying the footage for clues as to where and when it had been filmed

    As the news emerged, a large group, including the pilot's relatives, gathered at a tribal meeting place in Amman, where they have waited for weeks for words on his fate.

    Members of al- Kasasbeh family had been gathering every day at a community centre not far from the royal palace.

    The pilot’s father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, had said he would blame Jordan’s government if it failed to broker his son’s freedom.

    Among the prayers being said for Kasasbeh, angry shouts against King Abdullan erupted.

    Others reportedly shouted: 'Moaz, martyr, your blood will not be in vain' and 'No Tahawi, no Zarqawi, we want to execute al-Rishawi'.

    Some other protesters waved signs reading: 'We demand the execution of Islamic State detainees in Jordan', while also used the gathering to call out against Jordan's participation in the coalition.

    As some family members wept, an uncle shouted in Arabic: 'I received a phone call from the chief of staff saying God bless his soul.' The pilot's father, Safi, was surrounded by family members.

    Meanwhile, in the pilot's home village of Ai, violent protests erupted and a local government office was set on fire. Witnesses said the situation was tense and riot police were patrolling the streets.

    The White House this afternoon said the U.S. intelligence community was working to authenticate the video, adding that it condemned the militant group.

    'The United States strongly condemns ISIL's actions and we call for the immediate release of all those held captive by ISIL,' White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

    'We stand in solidarity with the Government of Jordan and the Jordanian people,' she said.

    Military sources in Jordan have warned that there would be a backlash against al-Rishawi and other IS captives with death sentences carried out swiftly if al-Kassasbeh was killed by the group.

    The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan,’ army spokesman Colonel Mamdouh al Ameri said in a televised statement last night.

    'Savage murder'

    Michael Haines, brother of the murdered British aid worker David Haines who was killed by Jihadi John, said his heart was 'filled with sadness' at the news of the 'savage murder of another hostage'.

    He said: 'Firstly, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Moaz al Kasasbeh, I know only too well the feelings of loss, anger and disbelief they must be experiencing right now. I share their pain.

    'The murder of Moaz al Kasasbeh once more shows the unmerciful nature of these criminals.

    'The world must come and stand together in the rejection of the fear the terrorists are attempting to spread. Only when we are all united against this vile threat will we defeat it.'

    Ed Miliband tweeted: 'The murder of Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh by ISIL shows their appalling brutality and offends the values of humanity shared across the world.'

    Mr Cameron added: 'We stand in solidarity with our Jordanian friends and we will continue to work with them and our other Coalition partners to defeat ISIL.

    'Together we are making progress. In the last week, ISIL has been thrown out of Kobane.

    'The Iraqi Armed Forces, with Coalition support, are steadily re-taking territory in Northern Iraq, freeing many thousands from ISIL's utter cruelty.'

    General Lloyd Austin, commander of the US Central Command released a statement condemning the murder of the Jordanian pilot, saying: 'This vicious act is yet another example of ISIL or “Daesh” brutality and warped ideology. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    ‘Al-Kasasbeh served his country courageously and honourably, and as a part of the counter-ISIL Coalition he is an important member of our team.

    ‘I spoke with General Mashal al-Zaben, Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces and assured him that we stand with our Jordanian partners and together we will fight this barbaric enemy until it is defeated.’

    Coalition jets have already reportedly been bombing parts of Tel Afar.

    Angela Merkel also said that 'Germany stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Jordan in the fight against terrorism' after the barbaric killing.

    And former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said that IS was as ‘bad’ as Hitler and the Nazis.

    Last week Jordan vowed to fast-track the execution of Sajida al-Rishawi if ISIS kills Kasasbeh.

    It apparently warned ISIS that she and other jailed ISIS commanders would be 'quickly judged and sentenced' in revenge for the execution of the pilot.
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