Isis prisoner 'swap' latest: What we do and do not know

Wednesday 28 January 2015 11:00
Junko Ishido, Kenji Goto's mother

Isis has threatened to kill Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al-Kasasbeh unless a would-be suicide bomber on death row in Jordan is released.

Jordan's information minister Mohammed al-Momani said on Wednesday morning the country was ready to trade the prisoner for al-Kasasbeh but made no mention of Goto's fate.

What we know

Isis is demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an attempted suicide bomber held by the authorities in Jordan and linked to al-Qaeda. Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack in Amman that killed 60 people.

On Tuesday Isis, who also call themselves the Islamic State, released audio saying Goto and al-Kasasbeh had 24 hours to live unless she was released.

On the same day Bassam al-Manasseer, the chairman of Jordan's foreign affairs committee, suggested to Bloomberg News indirect talks with Isis militants were taking place.

al-Rishawi in her apparent confession on Jordanian TV in 2005

Junko Ishido the mother of freelance journalist Kenji Goto has also begged Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe to work with the Jordanian government and help save her son. "Kenji has only a little time left", she said on Wednesday.

The Jordanian pilot's father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, called on his government to meet Isis's demands. Al-Kasasbeh was the first foreign soldier to fall into the extremist's hands, and his was the first coalition aircraft to be lost in Isis territory since air strikes started in September.

The militants have apparently beheaded one Japanese captive, Haruna Yukawa. Last Saturday Goto was pictured holding a photograph of what appeared to be Yukawa's lifeless body.

What we don't know

  • What Goto's position is
  • To what extent talks are taking place
  • If such as swap does take place, when this will happen
  • If the audio released by Isis was authentic

More: [Isis releases 11-point guide for journalists]1