Jordan Hangs Two Iraqi Militants in Response to Pilot’s Death
(Reuters) - Jordan hanged two Iraqi jihadists on Wednesday including a female militant in response to an Islamic State video showing a captured Jordanian pilot being burnt alive by the hardline group.
Islamic State had demanded the release of the woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, in exchange for a Japanese hostage whom it later beheaded. Sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack in Amman, Rishawi was executed at dawn, a security source and state television said.
Jordan, which is part of the U.S.-led alliance against Islamic State, has promised an “earth-shaking response” to the killing of its pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, who was captured in December when his F-16 crashed over northeastern Syria.
Jordan also executed a senior al Qaeda prisoner, Ziyad Karboli, an Iraqi man who was sentenced to death in 2008.
The fate of Kasaesbeh, a member of a large tribe that forms the backbone of support for the country’s Hashemite monarchy, has gripped Jordan for weeks and some Jordanians have criticised King Abdullah for embroiling them in the U.S.-led war that they say will provoke a militant backlash.
King Abdullah cut short an official visit to the United States on Tuesday. In a televised statement to the nation, he urged national unity and said the killing was a cowardly act of terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam.