ISIS terrorists today released a video that appears to show a captive Jordanian pilot being burned alive while standing inside a cage.
The pilot, 1st Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, was captured when his F-16 plane crashed during a bombing mission against ISIS in Syria on Dec. 24.
His name was First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh. RIP. pic.twitter.com/UVsCBdT1YP
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 3, 2015
The video is 22-minutes long and highly produced, leading experts to believe the pilot was actually killed earlier this year.
James Phillips, senior research fellow in Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, says that ISIS may have decided to inflict “an even more gruesome death” Kasasbeh because he had been fighting the terrorist organization, unlike the other hostages who were executed by ISIS.
“Burning him alive also would be something new that would attract more media coverage, which is the goal of many terrorist attacks,” says Phillips.
The horrific act has reportedly prompted Jordan to threaten the execution of an unknown number of ISIS prisoners they are holding captive.
“Burning him alive would be something new that would attract more media coverage, which is the goal of many terrorist attacks,” says @Heritage’s James Phillips
Phillips interprets Jordan’s threat of retribution is “a means of exacting vengeance,” which is an important part of Arab tribal culture. He says:
Kasasbeh was a member of an important tribe and the Jordanian government may gain support from other members of the tribe by taking vengeance in his name. If they follow through on the threat, it may also deter ISIS from executing Jordanian hostages in the future.
The video shows a man standing in a cage wearing an orange jumpsuit that is doused in fuel. A line of gasoline leads to the cage, which is then ignited by what appears to be an ISIS terrorist, causing the man to burst into flames.
Phillips says ISIS documents its brutal tactics and spreads them using social media “to demoralize enemies of ISIS and humiliate the Jordanian government,” and to incite “fanaticism and galvanizing action by ISIS supporters.”
>>> Read more: What ISIS Is Trying to Achieve With Its Slick Videos
The Obama administration is conducting an investigation into the video and President Obama released a statement condemning the grisly act.
“Today, we join the people of Jordan in grieving the loss of one of their own, First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh, cruelly and brutally killed by ISIL terrorists,” Obama said.
Read the full statement here:
Today, we join the people of Jordan in grieving the loss of one of their own, First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh, cruelly and brutally killed by ISIL terrorists. On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s family and loved ones, to the brave men and women of the Jordan Armed Forces, and to King Abdullah II and the people of Jordan.
Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh will forever personify the bravery of a true son of Jordan, one who honored his family and country by his seven years of military service. Along with his compatriots and other Arab and international members of the coalition, Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh was in the vanguard of the effort to degrade and defeat the threat posed by ISIL.
Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s dedication, courage, and service to his country and family represent universal human values that stand in opposition to the cowardice and depravity of ISIL, which has been so broadly rejected around the globe. As we grieve together, we must stand united, respectful of his sacrifice to defeat this scourge. Today, the coalition fights for everyone who has suffered from ISIL’s inhumanity. It is their memory that invests us and our coalition partners with the undeterred resolve to see ISIL and its hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history.