The Islamic State (ISIS) has released a video in which it demands $200 million from the Japanese government to save the lives of two its citizens being held hostage.
The ransom matches the same sum of money that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged last week for non-military assistance to countries fighting the ISIS.
“Should we leave terrorism or weapons of mass destruction to spread in this region, the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable,” said Abe, who by coincidence or not is visiting in Israel at the time ISIS posted its ultimatum.
The hostages were identified as journalist Kenji Goto Jogo and private military contractor Haruna Yukawa, who traveled to Syria for unknown reasons.
The audio in the video, which YouTube has banned, features a British-accented man, probably the same barbarian who beheaded other hostages.
He said to Japan in the video, “You have proudly donated $100 million to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims.” The actual amount was $200 million, which the ISIS badly needs to funds is operations in the wake of falling revenues from the plunge in the price of oil, on which it has depended for revenues.
The ISIS has attracted members from all over the world, including Japan. An Israeli official has said that nine Japanese citizens have joined the ranks of the ISIS.