ISIL militants behead second Japanese hostage

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TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Islamic State carried out its threat to execute a Japanese journalist after a bid for a prisoner exchange with Jordan failed, Bloomberg refers to SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist social media.

The Islamic militants released a video purportedly showing the beheading of hostage Kenji Goto, according to SITE, based in Bethesda, Maryland. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed grief and anger, while Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government was working to authenticate the video. "I am greatly angered by this vile act of terrorism," Abe told reporters at his official residence in Tokyo. "We cannot forgive the terrorists and we will work with the international community to have them atone for their crimes." He said Japan would increase its humanitarian aid to the region. The extremists had demanded that Jordan turn over Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber on death row, and also threatened to kill Moath al-Kasassbeh, a Jordanian pilot captured in Syria last month after his plane crashed on a bombing run against Islamic State. There was no immediate report on al-Kasassbeh's status. The video didn't mention the pilot, SITE said. The U.S. government is working to confirm the authenticity of the video and stands in solidarity with Japan, Bernadette Meehan, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement. Security Consultant The report of Goto's killing came a week after a video purportedly showed the execution of another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, a self-styled security consultant who had disappeared after traveling to Syria in July. "I am in no state to choose my words," Goto's mother, Junko Ishido, told Kyodo news. "I want them to understand my son's generosity and courage." U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the "heinous murder" of Goto, in an e-mailed statement. "Our thoughts are with Mr. Goto's family and loved ones," Obama said, noting that in his reporting Goto "courageously sought to convey the plight of the Syrian people to the outside world." Abe's government refused to meet the group's initial demands of a $200 million ransom for the men. The ransom matched the amount of humanitarian aid that Abe offered days earlier to nations dealing with Islamic State, a move the militant group called a "foolish mistake." The group dropped its demand for the ransom when it first called for al-Rishawi's release on Jan. 24. A video released three days later showing a picture of Goto holding a photograph of al-Kasassbeh had a voiceover urging Japan to pressure Jordan to complete the prisoner exchange within 24 hours or the group would kill the two men. That deadline was later extended until sunset in Mosul on Jan. 29. "We stand today in solidarity with Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people in denouncing this barbaric act," Obama said in his statement. Goto, an experienced war correspondent, was captured by Islamic State after traveling to Syria in October.

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