IS wants Sajida al-Rishawi released in exchange for a Jordanian pilot

Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, Sajida al-Rishawi
This combination of two photographs shows the detail of a poster of an undated photograph of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, left, used during a demonstration calling for his release from the Islamic State group and a still image from video, right, of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack on a hotel that killed 60 people. Jordan said Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 it is willing to swap the woman held on death row in Jordan for the Jordanian pilot captured in December by extremists from the Islamic State group.

The Islamic State wants an Iraqi woman released from prison in exchange for a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist.

Al-Rishawi, from Ramadi in central Iraq, strapped an explosive device to her body and entered the Radisson SAS Hotel in Jordan’s capital city of Amman.

“My husband and I went inside the hotel. He went to one corner and I went to another,” she said in a confession on state-run Jordan TV. “There was a wedding at the hotel, with children, women and men inside. My husband detonated (his bomb). I tried to explode (my belt), but it wouldn’t.”

The failed suicide bomber survived because she forgot a vital part of the explosive belt in the car. She blended in with the panicked guests fleeing the scene but was captured later at a safe house.

Al-Rishawi reportedly has close family ties with the Islamic State terror group.

View galleryCOMBO – This combination of two photographs shows the …
This combination of two photographs shows the detail of a poster of an undated photograph of Jordani …
Jordanian officials said one of her brothers was a close aide to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaida’s Iraq branch, the New York Times reported. This terrorist group eventually splintered off to become the Islamic State.

Residents of Fallujah, speaking anonymously, told the New York broadsheet that three of her brothers, including the al-Qaida aide, died during U.S.-led “operations” in Iraq.

Al-Rishawi and her husband, Ali Hussein al-Shumari, traveled into the country using forged Iraqi passports under the names Ali Hussein Ali and Sajida Abdel Qader Latif, according to her confession.

On Wednesday, Mohammed al-Moman, a spokesman for Jordan’s government, said, “Jordan is ready to release the Iraqi prisoner,” if the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, is released unharmed, according to Jordan’s official Petra news agency.

This would run against the stance of a major ally, the United States, not to negotiate with terrorists.

Jordan has faced increased domestic pressure since Tuesday, when the Islamic State threatened to kill both al-Kaseasbeh and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto if al-Rishawi is not set free.

Another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, has reportedly already been executed.

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