Amman (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Jordanian government carried two dawn executions this morning of two jihadists, in response to the video released yesterday that confirmed the killing of one of its pilot, burned alive by the Islamic State (IS).
The two prisoners who were on death row are Iraqis: Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman of 44 in prison for her (failed) attempt to blow herself up in a multiple attack that killed 60 people in 2005; Ziad al-Karboli, a member of al Qaeda, was convicted in 2007 for killing a Jordanian.
The executions seem to be part of the plans for vengeance that will "shake the earth", as promised a government spokesman, after the release of the video of the murder of 26 year old pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, captured by the Islamic State after his F-16 aircraft crashed in Syria last December.
In recent days, the IS had tried to exchange the release
of Sajida al-Rishawi with the Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, who was later beheaded.
Jordan had proposed the release of Rishawi in exchange for the release of the Japanese
and the Jordanian pilot, demanding proof he was still alive.
Yesterday state media reported that Kassasbeh was killed in early January.
The video released by the IS is one of the cruelest ever posted by the Islamic terrorist organization. It shows Kassasbeh dressed in orange jumpsuit locked in a metal cage. A masked man, claiming to be "the emir of a region bombed by the coalition of crusaders", takes a torch, setting alight a line of fuel which leads into the cage where the prisoner clothes - soaked with gasoline, caught fire, turning the young man into a human torch. At the end a bulldozer then flattens the cage, with the body still inside.
Kassasbeh was a second lieutenant, who had graduated from
the aviation school dedicated to King Hussein and had recently married.
Jordan is one of five Arab countries to have joined the coalition led by the United States to fight the IS in Syria and Iraq.
King Abdullah of Jordan, who was visiting the United States, hastened his return to his homeland. He praised Kassasbeh describing him as a "martyr" and urged Jordanians to "be united" in the face of adversity.
Among Jordanians there are many critics of the Kingdom's taking part in the anti-IS coalition. In addition, the exaltation of "Islamic" caliphate puts Jordanians - and the Arab world - in front of the dilemma between loyalty to a violent and anti-Western Islam and a struggle against terrorism.
King Abdullah has defended the campaign from domestic criticism, saying that moderate Muslims need to combat a group whose ideology and brutality have insulted Islam.