Fates of most recent ISIS hostages still unknown
After several videos depicting ISIS militants threatening the lives of two Japanese citizens for ransom were released in late January, one hostage is dead and another is being threatened, reported the Wall Street Journal. After the murder of the first hostage, Haruna Yukawa, the militants said that they had dropped the ransom demand and instead wanted the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, who was sentenced to death for her hand in the 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan. The most recent video was released on Jan. 27 and showed Kenji Goto, the remaining Japanese hostage, holding a photo of Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kasasbeh, who was kidnapped late last year after his plane crashed in Syria. The militants said that the Japanese and Jordanian governments had 24 hours to release Rishawi or both hostages would die. As of Jan. 30, no prisoner swap had taken place, and the fates of the hostages are still up in the air, according to a Fox News article.
Three Americans are dead after a shooting on an Afghani military base
Three American contractors were killed and one was injured after a shooting on a military base next to the Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan. On Friday, Jan. 30, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the deaths, a Washington Post article indicated. The contractors worked for Praetorian Standards Inc., based in North Carolina. The shooter was identified as Ihsanullah bin Mullah Rahmatullah. Reportedly, he infiltrated the security at the base in the hopes that he would be able to carry out an attack on Americans. The shooter was killed by return fire.
Ukraine petitions United Nations to deem Russia a sponsor of terrorism
Ukraine is petitioning the United Nations to declare Russia a sponsor of terrorism as violent conflicts continue to ravage the country. The Ukrainian parliament has already declared the pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine as a terrorist group and by doing so have ruled out any chance of peace talks with the rebels. Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev has not given a specific date as to when the plea will be made to the United Nations, but he warned of a major war should the rebels continue to seize more Ukrainian territory or “build a corridor to southern Ukraine’s Crimean Peninusula, which Russia annexed almost a year ago,” reported a Fox New article.