The Islamic State’s media wing, Al-Furqan, just released a horrific video titled “Healing of the Believer’s Chest” showing the murder of Jordanian air force pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh.
In the video, the lieutenant is shown in an orange jumpsuit locked inside a black cage in front of a stone wall in a dirt yard. The floor of the cage is doused in a flammable material, and a path leads away from the cage for the terrorists to light the fire. His clothes are also covered in wet stains, presumably an accelerant.
Kasaesbeh is then burned alive, notably standing on his feet as long as possible until the flames overwhelm him.
It’s not known when the video was shot. Jordan had been weighing a deal for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi awaiting the death penalty for her role in the grisly 2005 bombing of a wedding reception at the Radisson in Amman. But the kingdom demanded proof-of-life of the pilot, which ISIS had not provided.
U.S. Special Forces reportedly attempted, unsuccessfully, to rescue al-Kasaesbeh earlier this month.
On Christmas Eve, ISIS released the ID card of Kasasbeh and paraded parts of his downed plane, as well as images of the pilot in a soaked T-shirt and stripped from the waist down with blood coming from his mouth. ISIS’ magazine ran an “interview” with the pilot and referred to him throughout as “murtad” — apostate.
There was extra political pressure on King Abdullah to swap for the pilot’s life because the young man comes from a powerful tribe that’s critical to support for the monarchy.
The young pilot allegedly told his interviewer in the latest issue of ISIS’ Dabiq magazine that he was sweeping the Raqqa area, capital of the Islamic State, in a party that included Saudi F-15s, Emirati F-16s, and Moroccan F-16s.
“My plane was struck by a heat-seeking missile. I heard and felt its hit. The other Jordanian pilot in the mission – the first lieutenant pilot Saddām Mardīnī – contacted me from a participating jet and told me that I was struck and that fire was coming out of the rear nozzle of my engine. I checked the system display and it indicated that the engine was damaged and burning. The plane began to deviate from its normal flight path, so I ejected. I landed in the Furāt River by parachute and the seat caught on some ground, keeping me fixed, until I was captured by soldiers of the Islamic State,” states the “interview.”
He reportedly told his captors that the flight missions were being coordinated out of U.S. bases in Qatar, where the American pilots enjoyed eating mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, with others in the international team.
“Have you seen videos produced by the Islamic State?” the interviewer asks.
“No, I haven’t,” Kasaesbeh reportedly responds.
“We will make sure the jailers provide you with the opportunity to see ‘Although the Disbelievers Dislike It.’ Do you know what the Islamic State will do with you?” the magazine interviewer continues.
“Yes… They will kill me…”
ISIS-supporting accounts sometimes publicly denounce terrorism in their account descriptions, thinking it will throw off authorities. This account was laid bare when he joked about the pilot tasting like kebab.
UDPATE: Jordanian state TV is reporting that Kasaesbeh was killed Jan. 3, a day after the failed rescue attempt.