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Rep. Peter King to Newsmax: Pilot's Torching by ISIS Is 'Savagery'

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 08:42 PM

As Jordanians demanded revenge Tuesday against the Islamic State (ISIS) for the torching of a pilot the jihadists captured in December, Rep. Peter King told Newsmax that the brutal murder proved the group to be nothing more than "absolute animals."

"They're disgusting. This is the worst type of atrocity imaginable," said the New York Republican, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. "We thought the beheadings were as far as one could go. To go beyond that, to burning someone alive, this is savagery.

"It shows what animals we are up against," King added. "These are not people you can negotiate with. These are not people who in any way you can reason with.

"You have to destroy them. You have to kill them."

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra cautioned that ISIS has been killing thousands of people throughout the Mideast.

"This is not an isolated case," he told Newsmax. "This is the case that is grabbing the headlines, but on a daily basis, these folks are killing people all over the Middle East. This is a barbaric organization.

"The high-visibility cases help define who they are, but the West has to recognize that this is going on every single day in areas that are controlled by ISIS," Hoekstra added. "It's just that the vast numbers of executions they are carrying out just aren't receiving the same kind of visibility that these have.

"In many cases, they are just locals or Iraqis," he said. "But this is who they are."

The Jordanian government confirmed on Tuesday that videos and photos posted on social media represented those of the pilot, Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh, 26, being burnt alive on Jan. 3 by ISIS militants.

Five photographic images posted on the Internet showed a burning man standing in a cage. Kaseasbeh was apparently placed in the cage on open ground, draped in the standard orange garb ISIS has used for its hostages.

He was doused in flammable liquid and set alight.

A 22-minute video of the death featured the slick production and graphics used in previous videos released by the terrorist group, which is also known as ISIL.

It was released by the al-Furqan Media Foundation, one of the official media arms of ISIS — coming just days after the jihadists beheaded a second Japanese hostage.

Sky News Arabic reported the prisoners that Jordan had planned to swap with ISIS in exchange for Kaseasbeh were to be executed on Wednesday.

Last week, Jordan issued an ultimatum to the Islamic State that it would execute its ISIS prisoners if the group killed Kaseasbeh. The head of the Jordanian armed forces told the pilot's family that he had been murdered.

Kasaesbeh, a first lieutenant in Jordan's air force, has been in Islamic State captivity since his F-16 jet crash-landed near the Syrian city of Raqqa on Christmas Eve. Raqqa is the group's de facto capital city.

The pilot was carrying out air strikes against the militants when his warplane crashed.

ISIS has executed captured Iraqi and Syrian Muslim soldiers in the past. Its following of an extremist version of Islam considers all rivals, even some Sunni Muslims, as apostates.

Besides the two Japanese hostages, ISIS jihadists have beheaded five Westerners and executed four children — all reportedly younger than age 15 — late last year after they refused to embrace Islam.

President Barack Obama, who held a hastily arranged meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House on Tuesday, said that U.S. intelligence officials were working to authenticate the video and condemned Kaseasbeh's death.

Before Abdullah's arrival, Obama vowed that the death would "redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global coalition to make sure they are degraded and ultimately defeated.

"Lieutenant al-Kaseasbeh's dedication, courage and service to his country and family represent universal human values that stand in opposition to the cowardice and depravity of ISIL, which has been so broadly rejected around the globe," Obama said.

In retaliation, Jordan said it would execute Wednesday several prisoners to avenge Kaseasbeh's murder, including an Iraqi woman held on death row over a failed bombing.

"The sentence of death pending on ... Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi will be carried out at dawn," a Jordanian security official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rishawi was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and ISIS had offered to spare Kaseasbeh's life if she were released.

Republicans and intelligence experts slammed the pilot's death, charging that Obama needed to wipe out against the Islamic State, even if it required using ground troops.

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the murder required "a stronger resolve from America and our allies as we stand with Jordan in the ongoing war against ISIL."

California Rep. Devin Nunes, who now chairs the intelligence committee, said that "no matter how long it takes, we have to ensure that ISIS is utterly eradicated."

Florida Rep. Illena Ros-Lehtinen said that Jordan was "on the front lines in the fight against ISIL, and we can still do more to expedite U.S. military sales to Jordan and support its response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis."

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he believed that the United States "could be doing more" in battling ISIS.

He said that the Senate was soon expecting to receive Obama's formal request for an authorization for the use of force against the Islamic State. The president made the request during his State of the Union address last month.

"When the [authorization] comes up, there will be a great focus on two words, one word is 'degrade' and the other is 'destroy,'" he told Bret Baier on Fox News. "There is a concern right now that the United States is spending way too much time on the degrade part.

"In some ways you might call it 'containment,'" Corker added. "There is a concern that this spreads."

Hoekstra told Newsmax that — in light of the Paris shootings and last week's rampage by ISIS at a Tripoli hotel that killed 10 people — "I fully expect that we will see more attacks on the West, whether it is in Europe or actually in the United States."

Both he and King called for a stronger overall strategy to destroy ISIS by the White House and not just a retort to Kaseasbeh's torching.

"This not about what a response to an execution should be, as horrific as that execution is," Hoekstra said. "This is all about how we are going to carry out a plan that the president says will degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS.

"I think there are a lot of people out there who do not believe that that plan exists — probably including ISIS."

King said that the mission was "as simple and as complex as that: We have to make an all-out effort.

"It's not enough for the president to say that 'We're going to do a little of this and a little of that and none of something else.' We have to commit the United States to getting the job done — and that is destroying ISIS."

That Kaseasbeh was killed last month, while ISIS was in talks with Jordan about the hostage switch, proved that the terrorists cannot be bargained with, King said.

"While the Jordanians thought negotiations were going on, actually this poor individual had already suffered the most horrific death," he said. "All of this adds to just how evil these people are — and it shows really the futility of any type of negotiations.

"It’s time for real leadership," King later added. "It's time to make it clear that we're going to destroy them — and that there is really no place for these people on the face of the Earth."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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As Jordanians demanded revenge Tuesday against the Islamic State (ISIS) for the torching of a pilot the jihadists captured in December, Rep. Peter King told Newsmax that the brutal murder proved the group to be nothing more than "absolute animals."
Peter King, ISIS, savages, torch, pilot, disgusting, cage
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2015-42-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 08:42 PM
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