Japan's Foreign Ministry on Thursday morning was desperately trying to verify the authenticity of yet another audio message purportedly from Japanese hostage Kenji Goto who is being held by Islamic State (IS) terror group and who are demanding an Iraqi terrorist on death row in Jordan be brought to Turkish border in exchange for a Jordanian pilot's life.
The IS had previously made it known in an audio video likely featuring Goto that his life would not be spared if Sajida al- Rishawi, who was convicted for her role in a series of bombings in the Jordanian capital of Amman in 2005 which killed around 60 people, was not released. The suicide bomber was captured and imprisoned as her suicide vest failed to detonate.
In the latest audio message, Goto can be heard insisting that a Jordanian pilot, 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, who IS captured after his plane crashed in December, will be killed imminently if Sajida isn't brought to the Turkish border by sunset Thursday Mosul time.
But the potential prisoner swap deal seems to have become somewhat confused, with Goto saying in a previous video as he held the slain body thought to be another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, who IS beheaded for Japan not paying a random fee demand of 200 million U.S. dollars within a 72-hour deadline.