Jordan discusses Islamic State hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh

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Photo Source: bbc.co.uk

The government of Jordan has met to discuss the fate of Moaz al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot facing a death threat by his Islamic State (IS) captors.
The ultimatum came in a recording purportedly of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto. It says Lt Kasasbeh will be killed unless Jordan releases an Iraqi prisoner by 14:30 GMT.
Jordan is ready to swap Sajida al-Rishawi for its pilot but wants proof he is still alive.
IS has only offered to free Mr Goto.
Mr Goto's wife, Rinko, confirmed to the BBC that IS was offering to free Mr Goto in return for the release of Iraqi al-Qaeda member Sajida al-Rishawi.
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says it appears from the latest message that IS is not ready to accept Jordan's offer to swap the pilot for the al-Qaeda member.
Japanese officials have been talking to the Jordanians but Tokyo appears to have become a spectator in this drama, our correspondent says.
Jordan is part of the US-led coalition which is carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq.
Analysis by Yolande Knell, BBC News, Amman
The Jordanian king is facing a terrible dilemma. He is a staunch US ally - a key part of the US-led coalition against IS, with a need to face IS that controls large areas just across the border in Iraq and Syria. But he is under increasingly heavy pressure from relatives of Moaz al-Kasasbeh.
Lt Kasasbeh is the first member of the international coalition forces to have fallen into IS hands. And this latest ordeal has hardened public opposition to the bombing campaign against IS which has affected military morale.
However, Jordan's priority remains their own pilot - amid mounting frustration among Lt Kasasbeh's family and society at large that IS appears to have shifted its demands, making no mention of the pilot's release.
The government is reportedly holding indirect talks with the militants through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq.
On Sunday, IS said it had killed another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, after demanding a $200m (£130m).
Then on Tuesday, a video was released in which a voice claiming to be that of Mr Goto said Jordan had 24 hours to free Iraqi al-Qaeda militant Sajida al-Rishawi. There was no mention of a ransom.
She was sentenced to death in Jordan in relation to bomb attacks in the capital, Amman, in 2005, which killed 60 people.
The latest unverified recording, posted on YouTube and again claiming to be the voice of Mr Goto, appears to extend that deadline.
It said: "If Sajida al-Rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset [14:30 GMT] 29th of January Mosul time, the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh will be killed immediately."
There are no details of where the hostages are being held - or where along the lengthy border a possible release may occur.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the latest video was still being verified but that "with all of the information gathered we think that there is a high probability that the voice was indeed that of Mr Goto".
Emails from IS
Mr Goto, 47, is a well-known freelance journalist and documentary film-maker who went to Syria in October, reportedly to try to get Mr Yukawa - a private contractor - released.
In her statement to the BBC, Rinko Goto said she had received several emails from IS.
"In the past 20 hours the kidnappers have sent me what appears to be their latest and final demand," she said.
"If Sajida is not on the Turkish border ready for the exchange for Kenji by Thursday 29th Jan at sunset, the Jordanian pilot will be executed immediately."
She described her husband, and father of her two young daughters, as a "good and honest man who went to Syria to show the plight of those who suffer".
Mr al-Kasasbeh was captured on 24 December after his plane crashed in northern Syria. His relatives and other supporters have staged protests in Amman calling for the government to help him.
His father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, said he had been reassured in person by Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday.
"The king told me that Muath [Moaz] is like my son and God willing everything will be fine," AP quoted him as saying.
 

Source: 
BBC.co.uk
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