Japanese Journalist Missing For 3 Years Finally Appears in Hostage Video for $10 Million Ransom

Jumpei Yasuda, the Japanese freelance journalist who was believed to have been kidnapped while reporting from Syria between June 20 to 23 in 2015, has reportedly resurfaced pleading for help in a recent hostage video.

In the 20-second video which emerged online on Tuesday, Yasuda was seen kneeling while wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Speaking in Japanese, the man claimed to be a South Korean man named Umaru and told the camera that the date is July 25.

“I’m in a terrible situation. Please help me now,” the victim pleaded as two machine-gun-wielding masked militants watched behind him.

Last month, Yasuda was also featured in a video dated Oct. 17, 2017, in which he said he is “fine.” expressing hopes that his family is doing well.

Apart from the two videos, Yasuda has also been seen in an image sporting a long beard and wearing an orange outfit resembling that of other IS hostages released by his captors in May 2016.

In the photo, the first image of him since his capture, he is shown holding a sign in Japanese reading “Please help. This is the last chance.”

Yasuda’s captors have warned they would hand the journalist to the Islamic State group if the Japanese government failed to initiate negotiations within a month.

Authorities in Japan believe that Yasuda is currently being held by the terrorist organization known as Nusra Front, an arm of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group. The group is reportedly asking the Japanese government for a ¥1.1 billion yen ($10 million) ransom.

Featured image via YouTube/PR Watchlist

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