Islamic State burns captured Jordanian pilot alive

First Lieutenant Mu’adh Yusuf al Kasasibah stands in a cage as the flames lit by an islamic State fighter reach him.

In what is perhaps its most brutal execution video to date, the Islamic State burned alive a Jordanian pilot who was captured in late December 2014 after his warplane was purportedly shot down over Syria.

The Islamic State murdered First Lieutenant Mu’adh Yusuf al Kasasibah, the Jordanian pilot, at the end of a lengthy 22-minute-long video that was released by the group today, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

“The video shows media footage of Jordan’s involvement in the U.S.-led coalition against IS [Islamic State] and then shows al Kasasibah discussing Jordan’s operations in a news-style monologue bearing a black eye,” according to a summary by SITE.

“Afterward, the video goes back and forth between shots of al Kasasibah surrounded by fighters and shots of aftermath of bombings. At the end of the video, al Kasasibah stands inside of a cage and is burned alive by fighters,” SITE noted.

Kasasibah, who is dressed in the same orange shirt and pants worn by other prisoners who have been executed by the Islamic State, cries out in horrible pain as he is burned alive.

After Kasasibah died, a construction vehicle dumped a load of rubble on top of the cage, collapsing it and burying the Jordanian pilot.

Kasasibah’s F-16 was downed in Raqqah province in Syria on Dec. 24, 2014. The Islamic State claimed it shot down the aircraft. US officials subsequently denied that the plane had been downed by the Islamic State. [See LWJ report, Islamic State shoots down Jordanian warplane in Raqqah, captures pilot.]

The Islamic State demanded that the Jordanian government free Sajida al Rishawi, a would-be female suicide bomber for al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State, who failed to detonate at a hotel in Amman in 2005, in exchange for the pilot. Her husband successfully detonated his bomb in the same operation. Her brother was also a senior leader and aide to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the founder of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Kasasibah is the third foreigner to be executed by the Islamic State in the past two weeks. Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, two Japanese citizens, were beheaded by the group. The Islamic State demanded $200 million in ransom and also intertwined their release to the release of Rishawi. [[See LWJ report, Islamic State beheads second Japanese hostage.]

The Islamic State has publicized the executions of American and British hostages, as well as mass executions of Iraqi and Syrian soldiers and auxiliaries. But none of them have been burned alive. The other victims were all either shot or beheaded.

According to an unconfirmed report, Jordan has threatened to respond to the murder of Kasasibah by expediting the execution of Islamic State members and other jihadists who are currently in custody.

" Bill Roggio : Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.."

View Comments (24)

  • I've racked my brain trying to understand what would motivate the Arab world against IS. It seems that until now the response has been marginal at best. IS has ransacked, raped, executed hundreds (maybe thousands) across Iraq, Syria, North Africa (assuming we're going with re-establishment of the original Islamic Caliphate ideology). After the months and months of disgusting videos of executions, children slaughtered, Arab women raped and enslaved.....why was this the trigger? Is it an indication of human worth to Arab societies?

  • James, I couldn't agree more. While well-meaning analysts attempt to divine the meaning of shadows in individual videos, we should be carpet-bombing Raqqa, not arming a motley crew of interstitial Syrian insurgents. But with this pinprick pussycat for a commander in chief, we never will. The professor of law does not understand evil (and how it must be countered with terminal force), nor does madame secretary. The war will be long and costly for all sides, most of all for the poor innocents of the Middle East who call themselves Muslims.

  • @WillFenwick, "go down fighting" is advisable for prisoners of IS, but I've seen some CT "experts" advise that for Taliban and AQ situations, and that is deadly bad advice

  • This problem is simply a snowball turning cascading down the mountain into an avalanche. The Islamic State is the worst modern incarnation of it. Islam never truly had it's political power taken away from it like the West did with Christianity, and so we see the modern results of it.
    Islam has never truly been questioned on a political, social, or mental scale in the Muslim world like we in the West did with "our religion". When you refuse to change your ways, and you don't have any legitimate institutions to serve the people, fundamentalist religion is the only thing people have to fall back on as a crutch.

  • @James - Rain down missiles and nukes, eh? And what of the estimated 8 million civilians living in the territory under IS control? Collateral damage?

  • Mark Levin commented on Lt. al Kasasibah's gruesome execution and compared the current situation with ISIS to the Pol Pot genicides in Cambodia after the Viet Nam war. What is frustrating to watch is the lack of leadership from the west. I suppose the U.S. will have to have some mass atrocity on our own soil before meaningful action is taken. This blog does not flinch from the reality of a "long war" but our political leaders do nothing but flinch.

  • Jordan is one of the main exporters of terrorists to Syria and Iraq according to the center of radicalization studies it is topped only by Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Libya. Jordan hosts camps to trains terrorists to carry criminal activities in Syria.
    Isis have killed and beheaded Syrian pilots, but no voice to condemn these vicious activities, in fact they were welcomed by the Jordanian papers.
    Many Jordanians have demonstrated in support of ISIS, In fact radical Islam or Wahabism is very popular in Jordan.
    I believe, fire is finally engulfing those who lit it up.

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