Beirut: The Islamic State group has used Japanese hostage Kenji Goto to relay a new threat to kill a Jordanian pilot, unless Amman hands over an imprisoned female jihadist by sunset Thursday, monitoring group SITE Intelligence said.
The new threat came after Jordan offered Wednesday to exchange Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber, for the pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, after the militant group`s earlier deadline for executing the airman and Goto was thought to have expired.
"I`m Kenji Goto Jogo. This is a voice message I`ve been told to send to you," the Japanese journalist is heard to say in an unverified audio message distributed by IS-linked Twitter accounts.
"If Sajida al-Rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset, 29th of January, Mosul time, the Jordanian pilot Mia`dh al-Jasaben (Maaz al-Kassasbeh) will be killed immediately," Goto said according to a SITE transcript.
Japan has been seeking Jordan`s help in attempting to free Goto since an IS video released at the weekend said another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, had been beheaded.
After initially setting a $200 million (144 million euro) ransom for Yukawa and Goto`s release, the Islamic State group, which rules swathes of Syria and Iraq, changed tack and demanded Jordan free Rishawi.