A video and still images was released today showing a Jordanian military pilot being burned alive while confined in a cage, according to online posts from ISIS supporters Tuesday. But a Jordanian official said the pilot was actually killed a month ago.
The 22-minute video, produced by ISIS’ official al Furqan media company, begins with a condemnation of Jordan’s King Abdullah, suggesting he is to blame for what happened to the pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh.The king is derided as an “ally (of) the crusaders” for working with the U.S.-led military coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Al-Kaseasbeh then appears, looking bruised with marks around his eyes and trembling as he discusses his last bombing mission, which ended with his F-16 crashing near Raqqa, Syria, the de facto ISIS capital.
Later, the same man is shown outside in a cage. An ISIS militant appears with a torch, saying he would set the caged Jordanian pilot on fire.
The ISIS member lights a long fuse that leads to al-Kaseasbeh. The Jordanian screams before fire engulfs him and he eventually collapses. A bulldozer then comes to bury him, his hands sticking out from the debris.
CNN is not showing images of the pilot’s killing.
A short time after the video became public, Jordanian military spokesman Mamdouh Al Amri said al-Kaseasbeh was “assassinated” on January 3.
The statement indicates the back-and-forth in recent weeks between Jordan and ISIS about a possible prisoner exchange to free the pilot took place after his death. Jordan repeatedly had asked ISIS to show proof that al-Kaseasbeh was alive.
“Those who doubted the atrocities committed by ISIS now have the proof,” Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said on state TV. “Those who doubted Jordan’s power will soon see the proof as well. (Al-Kasaesbeh’s) blood will not be shed in vain.”
In Amman, a crowd hit the streets, calling for revenge.
“With the blood and self,” they chanted, “we are sacrificing ourselves for Muath.”