Jordan executes Sajida al-Rishawi and other al Qaeda prisoner, ‘will take revenge’
Responding to the killing of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, whose death was announced on Tuesday, the Jordanian authorities also executed another senior al-Qaeda prisoner sentenced to death for plots to wage attacks against the pro-Western kingdom in the last decade.
Sajida al-Rishawi, the Iraqi woman militant, was sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people. Ziyad Karboli, an Iraqi al-Qaeda operative, who was convicted in 2008 for killing a Jordanian, was also executed at dawn, the source said.
Rishawi, the would-be bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and ISIS had offered to spare the life of Kassasbeh, if she were released.
“The death sentence will be carried out on a group of jihadists, starting with Rishawi, as well as Iraqi al-Qaeda operative Ziad Karbuli and others who attacked Jordan’s interests,” a security source said Tuesday night.
“Jordan’s response will be earth-shattering,” Information Minister Mohammed Momani said earlier on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot’s murder.
“Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong,” said Momani, who is also government spokesman.
“The pilot did not belong to a specific tribe or come from a specific governorate, he was the son of all Jordanians, who stand united,” he said.
State television also reported that King Abdullah II of Jordan would cut short a visit to Washington and return home in the wake of the pilot’s murder.
The king had held talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Tuesday before going into a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill.
One of America’s most stalwart allies in the Middle East, Jordan is taking part in U.S.-led air strikes against ISIS group in Syria along with several other Arab countries.