OTR Interviews

Deconstructing ISIS' new video: A new level of depravity in their twisted game

ISIS new video was produced over time, indicating the Jordanian pilot was burned alive a month ago - and that their prisoner swap offer was just a twisted game


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: ON THE RECORD is analyzing the video showing that Jordanian pilot caged like an animal and burned alive. We know the video is 22 minutes long. There are many questions. Where was it filmed? Where was it edited together? It is highly produced. We know that. What else have we uncovered?

FOX News chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, joins us.

Catherine, we talked about this all afternoon. Very disturbing news.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: I think the big headline tonight that moves the story forward is this data point that the pilot had been dead since January 3rd. What that means is that when ISIS approached Jordan three weeks later and the Japanese to negotiate for their hostages, this was in no way serious or sincere three weeks after.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if you said that here ON THE RECORD, on the air. You certainly told me that --


VAN SUSTEREN: -- suspected he was killed earlier. So, why would -- what's your thought on why they are wheeling and dealing for the pilot when they know he is dead, they can't produce proof of life, he is dead.

HERRIDGE: This is why the Jordanians pushed so hard for the proof of life because they had a sense, based on the intelligence, that he had already been killed, OK? What is happening here is that ISIS, the way it was described to me, is playing chess, not checkers. This was a well thought-out strategy. They certainly built propaganda to target their goal of further inflaming tensions in Jordan. I'm not sure that is going to be the case but that was the goal, and to send a message to the gulf nations on the periphery of the U.S.-led coalition to stay out.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. This is -- the pilot is a Muslim. There have been some other convert Muslims executed. But this is a Muslim. Is that why we saw different execution? Does that mean anything else? Or even the fast burial, so to speak, at the end?

HERRIDGE: What jumped out at me, having viewed the 22-minute video, is it really was a departure in terms of the amount of resources they put behind this. This was highly produced in that sense of having multiple video layers, audio, multiple camera angles. There is no way they could have done this over the weekend when they announced that the Japanese hostage had been executed. This was compiled over several days. And now that we know the pilot was killed in early January, my sense is that they built this propaganda video and then they dropped in the murder of the pilot.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the burial?

HERRIDGE: I don't want to give you bad information. I need to learn more about the timing of that and how that may reflect his religion. But it was a deliberate escalation, if you can imagine, that this was more brutal than the executions. This was achieved in the video.

VAN SUSTEREN: There is another American hostage --

HERRIDGE: Correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: -- a woman. What about her?

HERRIDGE: We have a lot of information about the female hostage but we were specifically asked in the fall not to broadcast that information by the intelligence agencies because they are working for her release, which is why it was so startling earlier to me this month that the White House chief of staff identified her by name.

VAN SUSTEREN: That was a slip, probably? I mean I don't think --


HERRIDGE: -- it was very unfortunate.

VAN SUSTEREN: But is there -- how about a proof of life of her? Is she alive?

HERRIDGE: Based on the conversations that I have had today, the murder of the Jordanian pilot, the two Japanese hostages, and now this promise of retribution by the government in Amman, Jordan, without question, this increased the risk to the remaining hostages. And there are a handful left, at least one American, and based on our reporting, a European woman as well.

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine, thank you.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

VAN SUSTEREN: How is the Muslim world responding to a Jordanian man, also Muslim, caged and burned alive in the name of radical Islam?

Terrorism expert, Walid Phares, joins us.

Nice to see you, Walid.


VAN SUSTEREN: Walid, this was different execution. I don't know if we should read anything into it or not. He was will almost immediately buried by this bulldozer, came up and dumped what appeared to be sand on him. Mean anything?

PHARES: It means that what we are seeing right now, is genocidal jihad. This is something even the most conservative Islamist regimes in Iran or Saudi Arabia have not done, to burn an individual who is Muslim and a prisoner. There's no legal basis for what they have done. What they have done was to cross all red lines, and as the Congressman has said, they are now going into full-fledge confrontation with Jordan.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can Jordan do this alone? I mean Jordan is a little country. They are very dependent on us financially. It's not as though -- I know everyone is saying retribution, the king spoke very strongly. We have to be practical. This is a little country with not a lot of resources. We are hearing all sorts of problems that they have. They have all of these refugees there. This is not a country that's got a lot going for it right now, except resolve.

PHARES: that's true. Retribution will happen. It does not mean the defeat of ISIS. ISIS is in two countries. It has a lot of strength and that is something very dangerous. I'm sure king is thinking about it. ISIS has 1800 Jordanians who are in ISIS. The king --

VAN SUSTEREN: Where are they in Jordan or Syria and Iraq?

PHARES: No. They are in Syria and Iraq.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

PHARES: 1800 there. So how many hundreds and thousands inside Jordan? Jordan knows it has a jihadi problem on the inside. I am exploring the possibility that what ISIS has done was to trigger Jordan for a reaction, an over-board reaction for them to start working inside Jordan.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if that's true. I know a little bit about King Abdullah. When King Abdullah says he is going to do something, I suspect that he is. But to be practical, when you know all the eternal problems within the country and all these refugees poured into the country and all the financial pressures, it's easy sort of to talk big, but he has got to have the United States behind him and really behind him.

PHARES: Absolutely. He will have to do something, absolutely. Because if he doesn't do, then there will be more. If he does, he can't do it alone. He will definitely need all the other Arab Sunni countries, that would be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, which is battling the same jihadists in Sinai, and us.

VAN SUSTEREN: This pilot is a Muslim. We have had people who converted to Muslim in captivity. This is a Muslim. Does that mean anything that radical Islam has now done -- now executed by burning a caged pilot?

PHARES: I think this is basically a war we are going to see escalating between the moderate, mainstream Muslims arranged the world on one hand -- and we've seen what's happening' in Jordan and Egypt and Libya, elsewhere. But ISIS went beyond any limits that could have been accepted by mainstream Muslims.

VAN SUSTEREN: Walid, thank you.

PHARES: Thank you.