The Islamists linked their $200 million ransom demand to the amount Abe said he would earmark to help countries dealing with the influx of refugees fleeing fighting between IS and regular forces.
The folks behind ISIL claim to be apocalyptic ideologues pursuing a pure vision of Islam that punishes the evil West for it's past and present discretions in the Middle East.
It's all righteous and holy, you see. Divine retribution, that kind of thing. All about the vision.
Yet what we have here is clearly a case of K&R, thinly veiled as part of their ideology in the flimsiest bit of spin.
Japan is donating money to the countries helping people victimized by ISIL. They can't do that, it's like supporting the devil in the devil's efforts to save the physical coils of infidels or whatnot! They must pay!
Except payment here isn't about retribution, it's about cash money. There's nothing ideological about this - it's a fundraising expedition, pure and simple. K&R, kidnap and ransom, with the beheading threats being just a fear tactic in their Always Be Closing mentality.
It's what FARC did, too. When there was a lack of ready resources for Communist rebellion in Colombia from the collapsed USSR, FARC found ways to make their own cash. Eventually, all that remained was a gang funded by extortion.
ISIL already gets a ton of money in donations. Now they're looking for even more. Where's it going to? Funding media campaigns that put Western-born terrorists in Youtube videos? It's not okay to depict people in art, lest they gain super-human status, but elevating converts is okay?
Or is the money going to digital espionage? The buying of weapons? Fueling evangelical campaigns in other countries?
How much is going to the reduction of poverty and the improvement of the quality of life for the people needing to flee ISIL territory for their lives? Have the ISIL brass not chosen to neglect two of the pillars of Islam? Where's the charity? Where's the struggle against anger, against intolerance?
Is ISIL not rapidly turning into what those who left their homelands to join up were trying to escape - a totalitarian regime that's sacrificing belief for cash and causing the suffering of the innocent?
It makes me think Black Widow:
When I first joined S.H.I.E.L.D., I thought it was going straight. But I guess I just traded in the KGB for HYDRA."
So much for becoming powerful in the name of Allah; ISIL's Western converts have simply chosen to be pawns in someone else's game.