IS Burns Jordanian Pilot Alive in Video

Ever since it’s swift and brutal rise to power in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS has consistently been able to both shock and horrify the world through the use of social media and the filmed execution of hostages. While people were already in horror about how and what the terrorist organization have been doing, the latest video that they released has taken that horror to new levels and shown the world just how callous and barbaric the terrorist organization truly is. On Tuesday the terrorist group released a new video showing the fate of captured Jordanian fighter pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, whose plane crashed in ISIS territory and was captured alive by ISIS fighters. The video shows al-Kaseasbeh locked in a cage and covered in petroleum before a masked ISIS fighter lights a trail of gasoline that engulfs the pilot, burning him to death while alive.

(Photo: Nasser Nasser, AP)

(Photo: Nasser Nasser, AP)

Lt. al-Kaseasbeh’s fighter jet either crashed in enemy territory or was shot down by ISIS militants in December and had been a captive since then. ISIS then tried to use him as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who was part of the triple bombing of Jordanian hotels in 2005. While the Jordanian government seemed open to the trade, ISIS would only give proof of live that al-Kaseasbeh was alive in return for al-Rishawi and wouldn’t agree to an actual trade. When the deadline for the trade passed with no side budging on their demands, ISIS released the video showing the execution of al-Kaseasbeh to the general public.

What ISIS was planning to accomplish with this video is unknown, other than the obvious desire to shock the west with examples of their brutality. The burning seems to have infuriated the country of Jordan and is going to lead to them taking a much more active part in the battle against the terrorist organization. The murder of al-Kaseasbeh followed the murder of two Japanese hostages as well, showing that ISIS is willing make enemies of countries who had previously had no part in fighting the group. Unfortunately, the video will also probably lead to more recruits signing up for to fight with the terrorists and that might’ve been the purpose for it the entire time.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

12 Dead in Attack of French Satire Magazine

Today the world woke up to a tragedy in Paris, France as news reports began trickling in about a massacre at one of France’s most esteemed and beloved satire magazines, Charlie Hebdo. It turns out that two or three masked gunmen armed with AK-47s and using what seems to be military training and discipline stormed the office of the magazine and began firing before engaging in a shootout with police, hijacking a car, and making a successful getaway. While we don’t know who was behind the attack, the attackers were heard yelling about how they had avenged the prophet as well as “Allahu akbar”, an arabic phrase meaning “God is great”. It is believed that the offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked due to the magazine continuously poking fun at Mohammed and illustration cartoons of him, something that is forbidden in Islam.

Among the dead were a number of higher-ups in the magazine and possibly some of the policemen who initially responded to the attack and engaged the much-heavier armed terrorists before they managed to escape. It seems as though the attackers were looking to kill as many as they could as well as a certain group of cartoonists and editors at the magazine. Reports say that the attackers asked for editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier (also known as Charb) and well-known cartoonists Jean Cabut (aka Cabu), Bernard Verlhac (aka Tingous), and Georges Wolinski to make sure that they were amongst the dead before fleeing the building. While Charlie Hebdo has faced attacks in the past (it had previously been firebombed in 2011), this is the first time people have died. There is no other way to look at this attack than one on freedom of speech and democracy. While Islam is the only religion major to forbid the creation of human form in art, both Christianity and Judaism frown upon that sort of thing too.

With reports also claiming that one of the gunmen told a civilian that Al-Qaeda in Yemen was responsible for this, it seems as though it was an ideologically motivated attack. However until someone gets caught or takes credit publically, we won’t know the true reasons behind the attack and can only speculate. Our hearts go out to France and those who lost loved ones and we hope that those who did it will be caught soon and brought to the fullest extent of the law.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.