Japanese Christian journalist Kenji Goto has reportedly been executed by an ISIS member. The terrorist group posted a video featuring the now-familiar scene of the hostage in an orange jumpsuit kneeling as an ISIS member with a British accent known as “Jihadi John” prepares to slit his throat.
Goto’s execution comes less than a week after the killing of another Japanese man, Haruna Yukawa.
The New York Times reports that Goto was killed after the Jordanian government refused to release a would-be suicide bomber from prison. The terrorist group had proposed the prisoner swap of a would-be suicide bomber for Goto and a Jordanian fighter pilot.
World leaders condemned Goto’s execution; Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it a “heinous act” and promised that Japan “would not give in to terrorism.”
President Barack Obama said "the United States condemns the heinous murder of Japanese citizen and journalist Kenji Goto by the terrorist group ISIL (IS). Through his reporting, Mr Goto courageously sought to convey the plight of the Syrian people to the outside world.”
Christianity Today reports Goto became a Christian in 1997. His life’s work was travelling to warring areas to report on how violence affects civilians.
Publication date: February 2, 2015