Photo, above: The pilot appears to have been doused with some type of flammable substance.
By Thomas Madison
Note in Obama’s video, below, he never once refers to ISIS by name, nor does he call them terrorists or even Islamic extremists, only as “this organization” or “they.” He also says, “whatever ideology ‘they’ are operating off of,” as though that ideology is not Islam.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Still images taken from a video, which has not yet been confirmed as being authentic, shows Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh wearing an orange jumpsuit while locked inside a cage. The cage was presumably doused with an accelerant and a trail leading to the cage was set on fire.
The ISIS barbarians appear to have used their most twisted form of execution to date, burning alive a caged Jordanian pilot despite ongoing negotiations for his release.
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Video of the execution, which has yet to be authenticated by the U.S. government, showed Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh wearing an orange jumpsuit while standing inside a cage. A trail of accelerant leading to the cage was set on fire as masked, heavily armed Islamic State henchmen stood watching.
Jordan state TV says the execution was carried out Jan. 3, though the video was released online Tuesday. That date makes it unclear if the ISIS brutes ever intended to honor negotiations for the pilot’s release. The Jordanian government had demanded proof of life for al-Kaseasbeh before proceeding with a proposed prisoner swap of an Iraqi woman, Sajida al-Rishawi.
Family members have confirmed the man pictured was the 26-year-old al-Kaseasbeh, according to state television in Jordan. The Jordanian government, too, has vowed “punishment and revenge” after it authenticated the gruesome snuff flick, since removed from YouTube.
“The military forces announce that the hero pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, has fallen as a matryr, and ask God to accept him with the martyrs,” Jordanian armed forces spokesman Mamdouh al-Ameri said in a statement read on Jordanian TV. “While the military forces mourn the martyr, they emphasize his blood will not be shed in vain. Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians.”
The 20-minute film showed the pilot, sporting a bruise under his left eye, speaking about Jordan’s involvement in U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria. Then he was burned alive.
More Jordanian pilots are threatened with death at the end of the clip.
President Obama was meeting with health care workers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House when he got word of the video.
“Should this be authentic, it’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization,” he told reporters. “It will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global coalition to make sure they are degraded and ultimately defeated.”
The gruesome murder further shows “that whatever ideology they’re operating off of is bankrupt,” Obama said. “This organization appears only interested in death and destruction.”
U.S. officials are working to authenticate the slickly produced clip.
“The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all those held captive by ISIL,” White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement, obtained by Reuters, using a different acronym for the Islamic State. “We stand in solidarity with the Government of Jordan and the Jordanian people.”