Jordan has executed two convicts, including a female jihadist, following the killing of one of its air force pilots by Islamic State (IS) militants. The woman, failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, and al-Qaeda operative Ziyad Karboli – both Iraqi nationals – were hanged at dawn, officials said. The executions came hours after IS posted a video appearing to show pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive.
He was seized after crashing during an anti-IS mission over Syria in December. The militants initially sought Rishawi’s release as part of a deal to free captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, but later killed him. Rishawi had been on death row for her role in attacks in Jordan’s capital, Amman, which killed 60 people in 2005. Karboli was convicted in 2008 of killing a Jordanian national.
The two prisoners were executed at 04:00 local time, government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said on Wednesday morning.’Revenge will be huge’ The BBC’s Paul Adams in Amman says talk of an exchange appears to have been a IS tactic to string Jordan along and foster doubt among Jordanians over its role in the US-led coalition. Jordan vowed an “earth-shattering” response after IS posted a video online appearing to show the pilot standing in a cage engulfed in flames.
One of the leading authorities in Sunni Islam condemned the killing, saying the burning to death of Lt Kasasbeh violated Islam’s prohibition on the mutilation of bodies. In a statement released on Tuesday night, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University in Egypt, called for the “killing, crucifixion of IS terrorists”.Mamdouh al-Ameri, a spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces, said on Tuesday that Lt Kasasbeh had “fallen as a martyr”, saying their “revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians.”
Safi al-Kasasbeh, the pilot’s father, called for the Jordanian government to do “more than just executing prisoners”. The blood of his son was the blood of the nation, he said, “and the blood of the nation must be avenged.” “I call for [IS] to be eliminated completely,” he told reporters on Wednesday.