Jordan says ready to release Iraqi terrorist in exchange for pilot

By Lee Jones

AMMAN, JORDAN (BNO NEWS) -- The Jordanian government said Wednesday it is willing to release imprisoned would-be suicide bomber Sadija al-Rishawi in exchange for the safe return of a Jordanian pilot being held hostage by the Islamic State (ISIS) group, state-run media reported.

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communication Mohammad al-Momani said Jordan had agreed to release Sajida al-Rishawi if pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh is released by ISIS unharmed, the state-run Petra news agency reported. Al-Momani stated that Jordan’s stance was aimed at protecting al-Kasasbeh, who was captured after his plane crashed over Syria in December.

ISIS has demanded the release of Sajida in exchange for al-Kasasbeh and Kenji Goto Jogo, a Japanese journalist who was captured by ISIS in 2014. In a new video on Tuesday, Jogo read out a statement warning that he and Jordanian pilot al-Kasasbeh had less than 24 hours to live if the demand was not met immediately.

Jogo appeared in another video on Saturday after the Japanese government refused to provide ISIS with more than $200 million in ransom for the release of Jogo and fellow hostage Haruka Yukawa. The recording showed Jogo holding a paper showing the decapitated body of Yukawa.

Sajida al-Rishawi is on death row in Jordan for her connection to a string of terrorist attacks that killed 60 people in Amman, Jordan, on November 9, 2005.

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