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.
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.
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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.