11:56 GMT +318 October 2019
Listen Live
    Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi

    Who is the Female Jihadi ISIL Wanted to Exchange for Jordanian Pilot?

    © REUTERS / Majed Jaber/Files
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    0 64
    Subscribe

    Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed female jihadi, hit the limelight in the last couple of weeks when the Islamic State demanded her release for the two prisoners they held captive, but why was ISIL interested in her?

    Sajida al-Rishawi, is a female jihadi who tried to carry out a suicide bombing in Jordan in 2005 at a wedding reception that killed dozens.

    Al-Rishawi was born in 1965 and held an Iraqi nationality. She was a part of the terrorist network that carried out attacks in the Jordanian capital Amman in November 2005. The attacks targeted hotels which were often visited by foreigners and left about 60 people dead, reports al Arabiya.

    Al-Rishawi survived because her suicide belt failed to explode at the Radison SAS Hotel, according to Jordanian officials. Her husband killed 38 people by detonating his suicide belt.  She was sentenced to death in 2006, but as Jordan put the ban on moratorium she was not executed.

    In a transmission carried by Al-Bayan radio, which transmits in areas controlled by the Islamic State, the group had described Rishawi as “our sister” asking for her release in exchange for the freedom of Kenji Goto, a Japanese hostage then held by the militants, but executed last week.

    It was surprising that Islamic State wanted to negotiate with the Jordanian government asking to release the female jihadist in a prisoner swap. One reason for their interest could be the fact that she was close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was an al-Qaeda leader in Iraq back in 2005. The US and Jordanian officials believe the Amman bombings were carried out by al-Rishawi and her husband on Zarqawi’s orders.

    Poll

    What do you think is the most important event of the week?
    • Hollande and Merkel presenting new peace plan for Ukrainian conflict in Kiev and Moscow
      44.7% (412)
    • Obama admitting the US’ role in Ukrainian coup of 2014
      40.5% (373)
    • Execution of the Jordanian pilot by Islamic State militants
      9.0% (83)
    • Relaunch of the Pirate Bay by anonymous activists
      5.8% (53)
    Voted: 921
    Although al-Zarqawi was killed about eight months after the Amman bombings in a United States air raid in Baquba, north of Baghdad, his legacy lives on. The Islamic State group claims al-Zarqawi as their spiritual leader and founder. Their publications often feature pictures of al-Zarqawi and his quotes, reports Haaretz.

    He is seen as being a main cause of the Iraqi civil war, which flared up after the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, fueling sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Tens of thousands died in the war.

    Al-Zarqawi's strategy, which was rejected by bin Laden at the time, was to carry out large attacks against Shiites. The Islamic State has continued the work he started and Al-Rishawi is believed to be the sister of a former top aide to al-Zarqawi, making her important to Islamic State.

    After the Jordanian pilot was burnt alive by the Islamic State on Tuesday, the female terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi was put to death by hanging by the Jordanian authorities.

    Related:

    Jordan to Execute al-Qaeda Prisoners After ISIL Burns Pilot Taken Hostage
    Jordan Willing to Move Heaven and Earth to Free Captive Pilot
    Jordan Denies Reports on Release of Iraqi Suicide Bomber Requested by IS
    Jordan Ready for Prisoner Swap With IS, Fate of Japanese Hostage Unclear
    Jordan Buckles Under Pressure From IS, Planning Prisoner Exchange
    Tags:
    Daesh, jihadists, Sajida al-Rishawi, Iraq, Jordan
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik