Jihadist websites have posted images of what seems to show captured Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh being burnt alive. According to the Jerusalem Post, al-Kasaesbeh has been killed even as Jordanian authorities had commenced taking steps to release a prisoner named Sajida al-Rishawi in lieu of the captured pilot. On Sunday, Jordanian authorities said that they were ready to do the swap, just after ISIS released evidence that they had executed the second Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto.
“We are still ready to hand over the convict Sajida al-Rishawi in return for the return of our son and our hero,” a Jordanian military spokesperson had told Reuters.
Jordan had also been making continuous checks to make sure that Muath al-Kasaesbeh was safe. All those efforts seem to have come to naught, with the news of the Jordanian pilot’s execution. The style of execution is also different from what the world has been used to seeing from ISIS. An initial report by ABC News says that the pilot was burnt alive.
It was in December that the Jordanian pilot was captured by ISIS rebels following the crash of the F-16 fighter, in which he was doing a sortie over ISIS territory. There was tremendous public pressure on the Jordanian government to ensure the safe return of al-Kasaesbeh, with several reports of protests being reported from the town of Karak, the native place of the pilot. The Jordanian pilot also belonged to an important tribe that is in support of Jordan’s ruling elite.
Earlier, the Jordanian government had expressed solidarity with the Japanese government and condemned the execution of Kenji Goto, the journalist who was allegedly held captive along with the Jordanian pilot. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also reportedly had called up Jordanian King Abdullah, thanking him for his efforts to try to secure the release of Goto.
The Inquisitr had in an earlier report said that efforts were on to swap the Jordanian pilot with al-Rishawi. Muath al-Kasaesbah’s father, who was a lieutenant in the Jordanian army, had also made a fervent appeal to the King and requested him to give away the prisoner.
“Sajida is a burden on us, let them release her. I am asking for the release of Sajida and all the prisoners, and the return of Moaz to us. Keeping her in prison is a burden on us.”
Sajida al-Rishawi has been in a Jordanian prison since 2005 for her alleged role in a suicide bomb attack that left 60 people dead. She was a suicide bomber whose explosive belt failed to detonate.
[Image via JPost]