Thursday 14 November 2019

The three people at centre of kidnap exchange

Japanese hostage Kenji Goto in an orange blouse holding a photograph allegedly showing Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.
Japanese hostage Kenji Goto in an orange blouse holding a photograph allegedly showing Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.
Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (L), who was captured by Islamic State (IS) jihadist group on December 24 in Syria, and Sajida al-Rishawi (R), a would-be suicide bomber

Ruth Sherlock

Who are the Isil hostages and would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi?

The hostages taken by Isil are Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, while Sajida al-Rishawi is an Iraqi woman on death row for her involvement in a terrorist attack in Amman

Kenji Goto

Videos posted on social media and YouTube show him reporting near the Syrian border town of Kobane. He was also filmed discussing his time in Syria at a Unicef conference in March.

The final post on a Twitter account with his name was made in October 2014. Goto also sent an email to an Associated Press journalist in October, where he wrote: "I'm in Syria for reporting. I hope I can convey the atmosphere from where I am and share it."

Moaz al-Kasasbeh

In December, 26-year-old Moaz al-Kasasbeh became the first known military member of the US-led coalition against Isil to be captured by the jihadist group.

The Jordanian was kidnapped by the jihadists after his plane crashed closed to their stronghold city of Raqqa in northeastern Syria.

Photographs of Mr Kasasbeh were released, showing him semi-naked being pulled from water by gunmen shortly after the incident.

Mr Kasasbeh is a First Lieutenant in the Jordanian Airforce. He had served for six years prior to his capture. He married in July.

Safi Yousef al-Kasasbeh, Mr Kasasbeh's father has appealed to the Isil jihadists to keep his son safe.

Sajida al-Rishawi

Rishawi is a 44-year-old Iraqi woman who has been placed on death row in Jordan for her participation in a terrorist attack in Amman that killed 57 people.

On November 9 2005, Rishawi, who is from Ramadi in central Iraq had strapped an explosive device to her body and entered the Radisson SAS hotel. She was captured when the bomb failed to detonate.

She had been with Ali Hussein al-Shumari, her husband, whose bomb belt did explode, killing several guests that were attending a wedding inside the hotel. Other accomplices targeted two other hotels in the city.

Irish Independent

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