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he militant group ISIS has threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo hands over $200 million within 72 hours.
In a video posted online Tuesday, a masked man clad in black and holding a knife stands over two kneeling men in orange jumpsuits against the backdrop of a barren landscape.
The masked man links the threat against the two men's lives to Japan's support for the U.S.-led coalition that's fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"Although you are more than 8,500 kilometers away from the Islamic State, you willingly volunteered to take part in this crusade," the man says, addressing his comments to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is currently visiting the Middle East.
But in a speech Sunday in Cairo, Abe pledged $200 million to help countries "contending" with ISIS to help build "human capacities, infrastructure and so on."
The masked speaker in the ISIS video appeared to make a reference to that pledge as he threatened the Japanese hostages and demanded the same sum as a ransom.
In August, a Japanese citizen believed to be Yukawa, a private military company operator in his early 40s, was kidnapped in Syria after going there to train with militants, according to a post on a blog. Pictures on his Facebook page show him in Iraq and Syria in July. One video on his page showed him holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle with the caption: "Syria war in Aleppo 2014."
Goto is a respected Japanese freelance journalist who went to report on Syria's civil war last year and knew of Yukawa. "I'm in Syria for reporting," he wrote in an email to an Associated Press journalist in October. "I hope I can convey the atmosphere from where I am and share it
This is the first time ISIS has threatened Asia instead of the West.
One of the hostages appeared in previous footage posted last August in which he identified himself as Haruna Yukawa and was shown being roughly interrogated by his captors. It is unclear why Yukawa left for the Middle East, according to the Associated Press, but several social media posts about the hostage situation indicate that he may be mentally ill.
he wrote in an email to an Associated Press journalist in October. "I hope I can convey the atmosphere from where I am and share it
originally posted by: ~Lucidity
a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse
I wish they could just figure out where and when they were making these videos.