ISIS terrorists say the have begun a countdown for militants to kill two Japanese hostages they are holding for ransom.
The deadline, issued to the Japanese government, to pay $200 million ransom in exchange for the captives expired Friday. The militants posted a video which shows the now infamous terrorist in black holding a knife, while two men wearing orange jumpsuits kneel at his side.
In a new communication, ISIS shows a countdown clock down at zero, indicating the expiration of the time. Additionally, the clip depicts graphic images of what they have previously done to other hostages who have been beheaded by the terrorist group, and a warning that the “countdown has begun.”
The ISIS posting did not show any images of the Japanese hostages, according to a reports on Nippon Television Network which first reported the message in Japan. Usually ISIS posts videos before anyone else.
It is unclear what efforts are being made to free the two Japanese hostages. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Japan was analyzing the latest ISIS countdown video to verify if it’s authentic.
The mother of one of the captives appealed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who convened his National Security Council to discuss how to handle the crisis. The woman stressed that the deadline was fast approaching.
“Time is running out. Please, Japanese government, save my son’s life,” said a tearful Junko Ishido, the mother of 47-year-old journalist Kenji Goto. “My son is not an enemy of the Islamic State.”
According to Ishido, her son left her wife and newborn child in October to attempt to save his friend — the second hostage, 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa.
“My son felt he had to do everything in his power to try to rescue a friend and acquaintance,” she said apologizing for “all the trouble my son has caused,” according to Fox News.
In the first video, ISIS gives the Japanese government 72 hours to spare the hostages from being beheaded. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga reassured on Friday that Japan was trying to do everything in their power to reach the terrorists.
“We are doing our very best to coordinate with related parties, including through tribal chiefs,” Suga said.
Despite the new video showing an ISIS countdown clock, the government hasn’t said whether they are considering paying the $200 million ransom demanded by the hostage takers. Japan does not hold any influence in the Middle East, and their military only operates in self-defense.
[Image via the Independent]