Return of 'Jihadi John'? Japanese Hostages Threatened in New ISIS Video

Figure demands $200M for hostages, Japan says it won't give in to terror.

ByABC News
January 20, 2015, 6:53 AM

— -- Two men kneel in orange jumpsuits in the desert as a black-clad figure speaks to the camera, waving a knife and threatening their lives, demanding an astronomical sum of money in return for their freedom.

It's a setup that Westerners are familiar with since the on-camera executions of several American and British journalists and aid workers at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but this is the first video of its kind in weeks and this time it's two Japanese men who are threatened.

The man in black, who appears to be the same man from previous gruesome videos dubbed "Jihadi John" in the media, addresses the Japanese people, saying, "Just as how your government has made the foolish decision to pay $200 million to fight the Islamic State [ISIS], you now have 72 hours to pressure your government in making a wise decision, by paying that $200 million to save the lives of your citizens."

Two Japanese citizens appear in a video released by the terror group ISIS overnight Jan. 19, 2015.

Last year ISIS released a video of what their fighters claimed was a captured Japanese "spy," who had been beaten and bloodied.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, spoke about the video just hours after it appeared online, saying that his country would not give in to terrorism and that the country would do their best to protect its captured citizens.

"It is unforgivable and I feel strong resentment," Abe said, according to The Associated Press. A ministry official told the AP that the anti-terrorism section is assessing the video.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the video was "further evidence of the deplorable tactics of this extremist group."

Speaking on CNN, Earnest said the U.S. will be working with other countries to secure their release, but underscored that America will not pay ransoms to terrorists.