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US-Ally Jordan To Breach Western Protocol, Will Exchange Hostages With ISIS

Several days after a Japanese hostage held by the Islamic State was executed, with a second Japanese hostage, freelance journalist Kenji Goto likely awaiting the same fate unless the Jordan releases an ISIS prisoner, the middle eastern US-ally is about to dramatically breach western protocol of not negotiating with terrorists, and as the newswires reported earlier, is prepared to exchange said imprisoned ISIS would-be suicide bomber, however not for the Japanese captive of ISIS but for one of its own pilots held by the Islamic militants.

The WSJ has more details: "Mohammad Momani, Jordan’s minister in charge of media affairs and communications, said in a statement on state-run media that his government is prepared to release Sajida al-Rishawi, who faces death by hanging for her role in the 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, if Islamic State releases pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh unharmed."

“Jordan’s position from the beginning was to safeguard the life of our son, the pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh,” Mr. Momani said in the statement, released by Petra News Agency.

The Jordanian statement came just hours before the supposed expiration of a deadline imposed by Islamic State for Jordan to release the prisoner in exchange for freelance Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

However, as the WSJ notes, Mr. Momani didn’t mention Mr. Goto. Which likely means that the Japanese hostage is out of luck as there are no more bargaining chips, and Jordan would rather get one of its own in exchange for the ISIS captive, and since Japan has refused to pay to release its hostages, the freelance journalist's day are sadly numbered.

Junko Ishido, the mother of Mr. Goto, a freelance journalist, asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to exert every possible effort in negotiations with Jordan to free her son.

 

“I can’t think of anyone besides Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who can negotiate with Jordan,” she said. “As a mother, I sincerely hope that Kenji can once again set foot on Japan.” Ms. Ishido said her request for meetings with Mr. Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was declined.

 

At a Wednesday morning cabinet meeting, Mr. Abe condemned Islamic State. “This is a despicable act and I feel strong resentment. We are asking Jordan for its cooperation, and this policy will not change,” he said.

 

In the video released Tuesday the narrator also urged the Japanese government to pressure Jordan to accept the demand.

As a result, Jordan has accepted the demand, only it has decided it has no use for the Japanese captive.

The Jordanian pilot referred to in the video was captured in December after his plane crashed in Syria. The Jordanian Armed Forces said it was trying to verify the authenticity of the latest video.

 

The Jordanian pilot’s father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, urged Jordan’s government and King Abdullah II to act swiftly to secure the release of his son. “The father of the pilot, his relatives and the tribes in the south call on the king and the government to act as quickly as possible to rescue the Jordanian pilot,” he said.

In conclusion:

Hassan Abu Hanieh, an Amman-based independent expert on Islamic groups, said: “It is obvious that [Islamic State] is trying to pressure Jordan.” He said Islamic State tried again to offer a deal “in a manner that would implicate Jordan.”

And now Jordan has folded. Just out from Bloomberg:

  • ISLAMIC STATE RELEASE NEW VIDEO: TBS
  • VIDEO SHOWS MAN CLAIMING TO BE FROM ISLAMIC STATE: TBS
  • MAN SAYS THAT ISLAMIC STATE WILL RELEASE HOSTAGES IN VIDEO: TBS
  • MAN IN VIDEO DOESN'T SPECIFY WHICH HOSTAGE TO BE FREED: TBS

While we feel for the Japanese hostage, who is merely a pawn in the latest middle-eastern power struggle, the bigger news here is that a nation which is widely perceived as part of the western Middle-east alliance has just caved in and is willing to "negotiate with terrorist." This means that an unexpectedly emboldened ISIS will make hostage taking from an art into a science, and likely go global quite quickly with this new preferred tactic.