1 February

5.45 am (IST): President Obama said "the United States condemns the heinous murder" of Japanese hostage and freelance journalist Kenji Goto and added that "Our thoughts are with Mr Goto's family and loved ones, and we stand today in solidarity with Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people in denouncing this barbaric act".

4.48 am (IST): British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the "despicable and appalling" killing of hostage by ISIS and vowed that UK "stands united" with Japan in hunt for murderers, according to Sky News, 

3.00 am (IST): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that country "will not give in to terrorism" and that they would work with the international community to bring those responsible for "apparent murder of Kenji Goto to justice", tweets SKy News. "I will never forgive these terrorists," Reuters quoted him as saying. 

2.00 am (IST): SITE Intelligence Group says that the ISIS has released a video which shows the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto. The one minute and seven second video distributed on Sunday featured 'Jihadi John,' and condemned the Japanese government for their choices: "...You, like your foolish allies in the Satanic coalition, have yet to understand that we, by Allah's grace, are an Islamic Caliphate with authority and power, an entire army thirsty for your blood.

"Abe, because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji, but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found. So let the nightmare for Japan begin." There was no mention in the video of Jordan pilot Mu'adh al-Kasasibah.

Many IS-affiliated Twitter users commented on Goto's beheading with "I felt a bit sad for Kenji, he was killed by Abe by involving his people in a war they had no part in...On the bright side, many Japanese will not now the struggle of Islam and the Islamic State and as a result embrace Islam. Awesome Media".

31 January

10.50 am (IST): Japan's deputy foreign minister said on Saturday that the negotiation with the Islamic State which has held a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist hostage has become "deadlocked"

Yasuhide Nakayama said in Jordan that no progress has been made to secure the release of the two hostages, as Jordan remained firm that it would release Sajida al-Rishawi only after proof that its pilot is still alive.

"It has become deadlocked. Staying vigilant, we will continue analysing and examining information as the government is making concerted efforts together," he said, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK.


30 January

3.40 pm (IST): Jordan is reportedly still awaiting proof if the pilot captured by the Islamic State last month is still alive. 

11.30 am (IST): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida "to continue to stay on guard and deal" with the hostage crisis on Friday, according to Kyodo News agency.

9.00 am (IST): Jordan reiterated its stand on Thursday that it will release Sajida al-Rishawai only if given 'solid proof' that pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh is still alive. 

"We want to emphasise what we said yesterday [Wednesday] that Jordan would do the exchange, but we have asked for proof of life from Daesh [Islamic State]," Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani said on Thursday, according to The Jordan Times.

"Rishawi is still in prison in Jordan and the swap can only happen when we receive proof of life," Momani added.


8.35 am (IST): The fate of the two ISIS hostages remained unknown on Friday, even as the third deadline expired on Thursday. 

Jordan is reportedly still awaiting proof that its pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh is still alive. 

6.45 am (IST): Japan describes the situation around ISIS hostage KenjiGoto, as "still fluid and changing," tweets CNN Tokyo correspondent Will Ripley. 

29 January

11.00 pm (IST): "Father of the Jordanian pilot calls on ISIS that Islam enforces mercy not punishment and thus to let his son go," tweets Mudar Zahran, Secretary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition.

8.45 pm (IST): Jordan's talks with the Islamic State over the fate of two hostages appear to have collapsed, according to a source  "in contact with Jordanian officials," The New York Times reports. 

8.10 pm (IST): Two managers of a Jordanian website which allegedly spread rumours that an Iraqi jihadi had been freed in exchange for a Japanese hostage have been arrested, reports The Japan Times

7.37 pm (IST): "Rishawi is still in Jordan and the swap can only happen when we receive a proof of life," The Jordan Times quoted government spokesperson Mohammed Momani as saying. 

7.20 pm (IST): Kenj Goto's wife in a statement to the BBC has appealed to the ISIS to spare him. "I beg the Jordanian and Japanese Government to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands," she says in the statement. 

6.12 pm (IST): Japanese and international press are waiting at the the Turkish border for the impending hostage exchange between ISIS and Jordan. 

 Pic:Journalists waiting for news of #KenjiGoto held by #ISIS at Akçakale crossing gate on the #Turkey - #Syria border pic.twitter.com/KyO0iJm43d

5.30 pm (IST): Jordan king's loyalist has compared the plight of the pilot to "Jordanian martyrs who have died for Palestine", claims Secretary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition, Mudar Zahran.

4.51 pm(IST): Japan is "trusting" Jordan to save Kenji Goto, reports cbs. "Japan and Jordan are dealing with the matter based on an extremely trusting relationship," according to government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.

4.30 pm (IST): Secretary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition Mudar Zahran tweets a statement form the ISIS in which they claim that, "We are not to be messed with or given conditions, you will see the bodies of the Japanese and the pilot soon".

12.50 pm (IST): Jordan is said to have fears of instability in the country if its pilot held by the Islamic State is killed, which is why it is believed to have agreed to swap Sajida al-Rishawi for Lieutenant Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, Lina Khatib, director of Carnegie Middle East, wrote in The Independent. 

Several tweets by Jordanians suggest rumours of unrest in the country if ISIS harms Kaseasbeh. 

9.03 am (IST): "If Sajida al-Rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset, 29th of January, Mosul time, the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh will be killed immediately," Goto appeared to say in an unverified audio message shared by IS-linked Twitter accounts.

9.00 am (IST): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the parliament: "We are aware of the new message...(and) are verifying (its authenticity)."

7.10 am (IST): A new video from ISIS with the purported voice of Kenji Goto warns that if Sajida al-Rishawi is not at the Turkish border by sunset on Thursday, 29 January (8.00 pm IST), the captured Jordanian pilot would be killed immediately.

5.00 am (IST): Jordan said that they had received no assurance on the wellbeing of air force pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh and therefore, it would go ahead with a proposed prisoner swap with ISIS only if he was freed, reports Reuters. 

28 January

11.30 pm (IST): Al Ghad Newspaper quotes a senior official as saying, "If Daesh (IS) is concerned by Sajida the group shoud act to keep her alive"

10.09 pm (IST): According to Sputnik International, Sajida al-Rishawi has already reached IS-controlled territory.

9.20 pm (IST): Iraqi prisoner Sajida Rishawi remains jailed, according to Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

9.00 pm (IST): Shortly after the deadline for swapping the prisoners set by Islamic State militants passed, Kenji Goto's mother was quoted by Reuters as saying, 'My emotions are all over the place'.

8.40 pm (IST): Elhanan Miller, senior reporter for Times of Israel tweets Foreign Minister's claim that they have asked #ISIS for proof of pilot Kasasbeh's well-being and received none. Terrorist Rishawi still in jail.

8.00 pm (IST): Jordaninan pilot Mu'ath al-Kaseasbe's uncle has said that his family is still "waiting for any word from the Jordanian government", reports AP

7.00 pm (IST): Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh tweeted that Sajida Rishawi has not left Jordan and any report suggesting otherwise is false. 

6.00 pm (IST): An ISIS-affiliate Twitter user  has revealed that "Kenji Goto Jogo is no longer a prisoner of the Islamic State" and that he is now in transit. "If the exchange is done, a video with our new citizen will be done soon."

5.50 pm (IST): As the revised deadline looms, Kenji Goto's family and friends called for his release.

5.40 pm (IST): Jordan government reiterates that unless the Islamic State group also frees Jordanian air force pilot Mu'ath al-Kaseasbe, the swap of Kenji Goto and Sajida al-Rishawi will not take place. 

5.07 pm (IST): Jordanian government has agreed to release Sajida Rishawi in return for the Jordanian pilot taken hostage by ISIS, reports The Jordan Times. The statement from government did not make any mention of Japanese hostage Kenjo Goto.

4.25 pm (IST): Japan's deputy foreign minister Yasuhide Nakayama has reportedly said in Amman that 'good news' can be expected in the coming hours over the hostage crisis, Al Jazeera tweeted

3.30 pm (IST): Japan's Fuji TV is said to have reported that Japan and Jordan have agreed on a hostage swap with the ISIS. 

1.55 pm (IST): Unconfirmed reports suggest that Jordan has struck a deal with the Islamic State for the release of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and Jordanian pilot Muath al Kasaesbeh. 

However, several journalists have tweeted saying that no confirmation has come from officials. 


11:55 am (IST): Japanese hostage Kenji Goto's mother has once again made an emotional appeal for her son, after begging the ISIS militants last week to spare his life. 

This time, Junko Ishido called on Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to save her son. 

"To all members of ISIS, Kenji [Goto] is not the enemy of ISIS. Please release him," she had said last Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has strongly condemned the new threat by the Islamic State to kill journalist Kenji Goto within 24 hours unless terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi is released by Jordan.

The video was posted online on Tuesday even as Japan and Jordan were working towards a possible resolution of the hostage crisis, as ISIS has also threatened to kill Jordanian pilot Muath al Kasaesbeh, who is likely to be executed before Goto. 

"This was an utterly despicable act, and I am appalled. While we are in an extremely severe situation... the government is united to work for the early release of Mr Kenji Goto," Abe said on Wednesday, according to AFP.

The Japanese government convened an emergency Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning and also stepped up its call for support from Jordan.

"The government, in this extremely severe situation, has been asking for the Jordanian government's cooperation towards the early release of Mr Goto, and this policy remains unchanged," Abe said.

27 January

Jordanian authorities were rushing to verify the authenticity of the new video that emerged on Tuesday, in which Goto is seen holding a photo of the pilot who was captured last month.

"Any more delays from the Jordanian government will mean they're responsible for the death of their pilot which will then be followed by mine. I only have 24 hours left to live. And the pilot has even less," the Japanese is heard saying. 

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said the message in the video did not clarify if the group will also release Kasaesbeh in exchange for al-Rishawi, The Jordan Times reported.

Jordan is reportedly considering a prisoner swap in exchange for the lives of the two ISIS hostages, Japan's Kyodo News Agency had reported on Tuesday.

The Islamic State militants have already purportedly killed Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, after Japan refused to cough up the ransom amount of $200 million. While the group has now dropped that demand, they are seeking the release of Iraqi al-Rishawi, who planned a string of bombings in Jordan in 2005 as part of Al Qaeda.

Sajida al-Rishawi

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