IS demands £132m for Japan hostages
Terror group Islamic State (IS) has released a new video threatening to kill two Japanese hostages unless a 200 million dollar (£132 million) ransom is paid in the next 72 hours.
The footage issued today shows a masked militant, believed to be the Briton known as Jihadi John, making the threat.
It comes three days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged 200 million dollars (£132 million) in non-military assistance for countries battling IS in Iraq and Syria.
In the video the speaker says the two hostages are under threat as a result of Japan's support of Western military actions against IS.
Brandishing a knife and dressed all in black, the militant says: "To the prime minister of Japan: Although you are more than 8,000 and 500 kilometers (5,280 miles) from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade.
"You have proudly donated 100 million dollars (£66 million) to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims, so the life of this Japanese citizen will cost you 100 million dollars.
"And in an attempt to stop the expansion of the Islamic State, you have also donated another 100 million dollars to train the murtadeen (apostates) against the mujahideen, and so the life of this Japanese citizen will cost you another 100 million dollars.
"And to the Japanese public: Just as how your government has made the foolish decision to pay 200 million dollars to fight the Islamic State, you now have 72 hours to pressure your government in making a wise decision, by paying the 200 million dollars to save the lives of your citizens.
"Otherwise, this knife will become your nightmare."
The hostages - identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa - appear in the same orange jumpsuits as those worn by captives in previous IS videos.
The clip is filmed in a desert location.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the threat as "unforgiveable" and demanded that IS immediately release the men.
He added: "I feel strong resentment."
The Foreign Office confirmed it was aware of the video and is "studying the content".
Jihadi John has appeared in a number of previous videos in which hostages were both threatened and killed.
British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley have been beheaded in similar style footage.
British photojournalist John Cantlie has appeared in a number of propaganda videos released by Islamic State, presenting documentary-style clips.
The latest video is thought to be the first time the group has made a specific demand for cash for hostages.
Speaking in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to say whether Japan would pay the ransom.
"If true, the act of threat in exchange of people's lives is unforgivable and we feel strong indignation," Mr Suga told journalists.
"We will make our utmost effort to win their release as soon as possible."
Downing Street confirmed that UK security agencies were analysing the video.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster media briefing: "The appropriate services are looking into the video material that has been posted online, with regard to authenticity.
"That technical process is under way and that is what needs to be done first of all."