Radical scholar provided Japan with channel to IS at hostage crisis peak

February 8, 2015 4:16 PM

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Radical scholar provided Japan with channel to IS at hostage crisis peak

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's government opened a communication channel with Islamic State in the decisive stages of its recent hostage crisis but was unwilling to use it to start negotiations, according to a Tokyo-based Islamic scholar who briefly became an intermediary.

Hassan Ko Nakata, 54, who police suspected was a recruiter for Islamic State, was asked by the foreign ministry to pass on a message to the group at the peak of the crisis last month, according to Nakata, associates and records reviewed by Reuters.

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