Moaz al-Kassasbeh was taken hostage by the group in late December

By Tara Fowler
Updated February 03, 2015 01:00 PM
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Credit: Kyodo/AP

A video posted online Tuesday by ISIS appears to show Jordanian hostage Moaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive in a cage, the BBC reports.

Al-Kassasbeh was taken hostage by the group in late December after his plane crashed in Syria. Jordan had been in the process of attempting to secure his release.

The pilot’s father, Safi al-Kassasbeh, told the Jordan Times after his capture that his son was “a very modest and religious person,” who memorized the Quran and “was never harmful to anyone.”

President Barack Obama also spoke out about the tragedy Tuesday.

“Today, we join the people of Jordan in grieving the loss of one of their own, First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh, cruelly and brutally killed by ISIL terrorists,” he said in a statement. “On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s family and loved ones, to the brave men and women of the Jordan Armed Forces, and to King Abdullah II and the people of Jordan.”

“Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh will forever personify the bravery of a true son of Jordan, one who honored his family and country by his seven years of military service,” he continued. “Along with his compatriots and other Arab and international members of the coalition, Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh was in the vanguard of the effort to degrade and defeat the threat posed by ISIL.”

Video messages from ISIS in January demanded the release of female jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for al-Kassasbeh’s life. They said nothing of his release.

Al-Rishawi was imprisoned in Jordan for her part in a 2005 suicide bombing.

The video could not be immediately verified, though pictures posted on ISIS’s official media site also depict the horrific attack, CNN reports.

“As we grieve together, we must stand united, respectful of his sacrifice to defeat this scourge,” Obama said of al-Kasasbeh. “Today, the coalition fights for everyone who has suffered from ISIL’s inhumanity. It is their memory that invests us and our coalition partners with the undeterred resolve to see ISIL and its hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history.”