TOKYO — The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.
Jordan has said it will only release an Al Qaeda prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, from death row if it gets proof the pilot, Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh, is alive and has received no such evidence from the hostage-takers.
At the same time, the government is under domestic pressure to win the release of Kaseasbeh, the first foreign pilot to be captured by Islamic State militants since a US-led military coalition began carrying out airstrikes against ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria in September.
In the pilot’s home village of Ay, several dozen protesters called for his release and chanted against Jordan’s role in the alliance against Islamic State. ‘‘The sons of Jordan must not be sacrificed for America,’’ read a banner.
Former foreign minister Marwan Muasher said the Jordanian government faces only bad options. The pilot was captured in December, after his F-16 jet went down over an ISIS-controlled area of Syria.
‘‘Jordan does not have a history of negotiating with terrorists,’’ Muasher said in Beirut. ‘‘At the same time, I think it is clear that all other alternatives are worse than releasing the pilot and ending in that scenario.’’
‘‘I think the country is united today in calling for the release of the pilot and that obviously is the priority of the Jordanian government,’’ he said.
The veteran diplomat said he does not expect King Abdullah II to second-guess Jordan’s role in the US-led coalition because of increasingly vocal protests.
‘‘The king has made it clear that this is a war of values, not just a military war against ISIS and that as such, Jordan needs to be involved,’’ Muasher said. ‘‘Jordan needs to be at the forefront of fighting ISIS.’’
Rishawi, 44, faces death by hanging for her role in triple 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, which killed 60 people, the worst terror attack in Jordan. Her suicide belt did not go off and she fled the scene, but was quickly arrested.
She confessed, but later recanted. Rishawi has close family ties to the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda, a precursor of the Islamic State group. Three of her brothers were Al Qaeda operatives killed in fighting in Iraq.
It was not clear from the recording what would happen to a second hostage, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, if the Iraqi woman were not turned over by the deadline. The deadline passed without word on the fate of the captives.