Jordan Executes Two Prisoners After Islamic State Kills Pilot

 Jordan executed two al-Qaeda prisoners before dawn Wednesday, a government spokesman said, just hours after Islamic State terrorists releas...

 Jordan executed two al-Qaeda prisoners before dawn Wednesday, a government spokesman said, just hours after Islamic State terrorists released a video purportedly showing a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

Jordan confirmed the pilot's death and vowed a swift and lethal response.

Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani identified the two prisoners executed by hanging early Wednesday as Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouly.

In the past week, Jordan had offered to trade al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber, for the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh but froze any swap after saying it had received no proof that the pilot was still alive.

Al-Rishawi, a 44-year-old Iraqi woman, had been sentenced to death after her 2005 role in a triple hotel bombing in Amman that killed 60 people.

She has family ties to the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda, a precursor of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Al-Karbouly was sent to death row in 2008 for plotting terror attacks on Jordanians in Iraq.

The killing of the pilot outraged Jordanians and drew worldwide condemnation, including from President Barack Obama and the U.N. Security Council.

Al-Kaseasbeh had fallen into the hands of the terrorists in December when his F-16 crashed near Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group's self-styled caliphate. He is the only coalition pilot to be captured to date.

The killing of the 26-year-old pilot appeared aimed at pressuring the government of Jordan — a close U.S. ally — to leave the coalition that has carried out months of airstrikes targeting Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq. But the terrorists' brutality against a fellow Muslim could backfire and galvanize other Sunni Muslims in the region against them.

King Abdullah II, who has portrayed the campaign against the terrorists as a battle over values, was in Washington on a previously scheduled trip. He added a stop at the White House with Obama.

The monarch broadcast a speech on Jordanian TV on Tuesday evening, confirming the pilot's death "with sorrow and anger" and urging his countrymen to unite.

"It's the duty of all of us to stand united and show the real values of Jordanians in the face of these hardships," Abdullah said. The official Petra news agency said he would be cutting short his Washington trip.

Obama said the Islamic State's video, if authentic, showed "the viciousness and barbarity of this organization."

"And it, I think, will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated," he told reporters during an event at the White House.

Obama later issued a statement offering condolences, saying the pilot's "dedication, courage and service to his country and family represent universal human values that stand in opposition to the cowardice and depravity of ISIL, which has been so broadly rejected around the globe."

The Islamic State terrorist group is known variously by the acronyms ISIL, ISIS and, in Arabic, Daesh.

Dozens of people chanting slogans against the Islamic State marched toward the royal palace to express their anger.

Jordanian officials said the country would respond swiftly and decisively.

"Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians," said the spokesman of the armed forces, Mamdouh al-Ameri.

The 20-minute video purportedly showing the pilot's killing was released on terrorist websites and bore the logo of the terrorist group's al-Furqan media service.

The pilot showed signs of having been beaten, including a black eye. Toward the end of the video, he was shown wearing an orange jumpsuit.

He stood in an outdoor cage as a masked terrorist ignited a line of fuel leading to it.

The video, which could not immediately be confirmed independently by The Associated Press, threatened other purported Jordanian pilots by name.

Source: Nation World
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