Kenji Goto, Christian Journalist, Beheaded By Islamic State

(UPDATED) IS releases video reportedly showing execution of Japanese believer.

Update (Jan. 31): The Islamic State (IS) has released a video showing the beheading of Kenji Goto, a Japanese journalist and a Christian with a wife and two young children. The New York Timesreported Saturday evening:

The video of the killing of the journalist, Kenji Goto, came two days after a deadline set by the extremists expired and the Jordanian government failed to give in to their demands that they exchange a convicted would-be suicide bomber for Mr. Goto’s life. Left unclear by the video, which was posted on a Twitter account associated with the Islamic State’s media organization, al Furqan, was the fate of a Jordanian pilot, whom the extremists also threatened to kill if Jordan did not release the would-be bomber, Sajida al-Rishawi. Japan had not yet authenticated the video. Jordan did not publicly comment.

Goto’s 78-year-old mother, Junko Ishido, told journalists following the news of his death, “It is my only hope that we can carry on with Kenji’s mission to save the children from war and poverty.” She added, “Kenji has left us on a journey.”

Goto’s wife, Rinko, said in a statement via the Rory Peck Trust, “My family and I are devastated by the news of Kenji’s death. He was not just my loving husband and father to our two beautiful children, but a son, brother and friend to many around the world. . . . I remain extremely proud of my husband who reported the plight of people in conflict areas like Iraq, Somalia, and Syria.
 It was his passion to highlight the effects on ordinary people, especially through the eyes of children, and to inform the rest of us of the tragedies of war.” (The Peck Trust supports freelance journalists.)

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