Jordan’s Swift Response To Pilot Being Burned Alive: Execution of Sajida al-Rishawi

When news of the Jordanian pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s gruesome death, who had been detained by the brutal Islamic State, finally reached Jordan, family and friends tried in vain to keep it from the pilot’s wife, Anwar. They attempted to pry an Android phone from her hands, but not before she saw a headline that declared her beloved husband dead.

She ran into the street, ripping off her headscarf and pulling at her hair in grief, screaming her husband’s name. This grief was before she even knew the barbaric manner of his death. Islamic State released a video yesterday that showed the pilot being held in an outdoor cage in an urban dwelling. He looked as though he had been beaten, displaying a black eye and disheveled appearance. His face registers horror as he is doused in a flammable accelerant and then unbelievably burned alive, ISIS making sure to zoom in on his moments of agony and terror prior to his death.

Until that point, Jordan officials had been trying desperately to negotiate with the Islamic State for the release of their pilot in exchange for an Iraqi captive on death row, Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber who landed herself in prison in Jordan when the bomb designed to kill herself and others around her failed to detonate in 2006. Her husband’s bomb did detonate, and he perished, taking others with him. Sajida al-Rishawi was said to be valuable to the Islamic State and they wanted her released because she is reportedly the sister of of a high member of Islamic State. How badly they truly wanted her release, however, seems to be in question now, as they uncharacteristically said they would negotiate for her life by releasing the high-ranking Jordanian detainee in exchange for her, but never would produce the evidence that the pilot was still alive, as Jordan requested. That’s because he was not — he was executed on January 3. They apparently had no real interest in negotiating for the life of Sajida al-Rishawi.

The 46-year-old captive was taken from the women’s prison in Jordan this morning in Jordan and swiftly executed by hanging in the men’s prison. While the world condemned the brutal slaying of Jordanian Pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, little has been said about Jordan’s decision to promptly execute Sajida al-Rishawi in the way they normally would, by hanging.

A spokesperson for the Jordanian military, Mamdouh al-Ameri, issued a statement on The Islamic State’s barbaric actions.

“The blood of our hero martyr, Moaz Kasasbeh, will not go for nothing. And the revenge will be equal to what happened to Jordan.”