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Dec 29, 2014 6:22 PM

IS releases interview with captive Jordanian pilot

The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) The Islamic State group published on Monday an interview with the Jordanian pilot captured last week after his plane crashed in northern Syria.

First Lieutenant Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh F-16 went down near the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa on Wednesday. The 26-year-old Jordanian is the first foreign military pilot to fall into the extremists' hands since an international coalition began its aerial campaign against IS in September months ago.

In a short question-and-answer segment in the extremist group's monthly English-language magazine posted online, al-Kaseasbeh said his fighter jet was shot down by a heat-seeking missile near Raqqa, which is located on the banks of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

Al-Kaseasbeh said he landed in the river after ejecting from the aircraft and landed in river, where he was taken captive by IS fighters.

Jordan's government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said that he has seen the comments but declined to comment.

The United States has denied that IS shot down the Jordanian aircraft. The head of the U.S. military's Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin, said the U.S. will not tolerate IS's "attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes."

In the new issue of the its magazine, the Islamic State group also praised the attack on a cafe and ensuing hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia this month. Two hostages and the gunman, Man Haron Monis, were killed.

Monis was a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy criminal history. While holding the hostages, Monis made two strange demands: to be delivered an Islamic State flag and to speak directly with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The Islamic State had called on Muslims to kills disbelievers in the West, including Australia.


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