Anger spreads in Jordan after pilot execution

Executed Rishawi and another al Qaida prisoner

04 February, 16:04

    Safi al-Kaseasbeh, third right, father of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh attends a mass funeral at the Kaseasbeh tribe (ANSA-AP) Safi al-Kaseasbeh, third right, father of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh attends a mass funeral at the Kaseasbeh tribe (ANSA-AP)

    (By Mohammad Ben Hussein).

    (ANSAmed) - Amman - The brutal execution of Jordanian pilot Moath al Kassasbeh by the Islam State (IS) has triggered wide spread condemnation across Jordan political and public spheres.

    Jordan already executed two al Qaidha convicts in retaliation against killing of the Jordanian pilot. Police announced that Sajeda al Rishawee, a would be female suicide bomber arrested in 2005 and Ziad al Karbouli, a senior Al Qaidha leader in Iraq, were both hanged at Swaqa prison in the early ours of Wednesday.

    Rishawee was supposed to be part of a bargain deal to free Japanese hostage Kinji Koto but negotiations failed after Jordan asked for assurances about safety of pilot Moath al Kassasbeh.

    Jordanian officials said they would not hand over body of Karbouli or Rishawee and would be buried in unmarked graves.

    Protesters marched in city of Karak, hometown of the slain pilot on Wednesday calling for "revenge." Protesters chanted name of king Abdullah and expressed support to Amman's role in the US lead alliance to fight ISIS.

    The pro-west Abdullah cut short his US visit and announced he will be returning to the kingdom. The monarch is expected to arrive in later on Wednesday as thousands are expected to receive the monarch in the airport in show of support.

    Father of the victim, Safi al Kassasbeh, called on the government to "revenge for his son" and urged Jordanian tribes to stand united against the extremist group.

    "I urge the coalition to hit ISIS and destroy them," said Safi.

    Courts and other public venues observed an hour of work stoppage in solidarity with family of Kassasbeh, while military jets were seen flying over skies of the capital.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, the kingdom's most influential political group was quick to vilify the execution and described it as "unacceptable" and "unrelated to Islam." "We reject killing of the pilot in this brutal manner, this is not morals of Islam and not related to Muslims," said senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Murad al Adayleh. "The prophet prevented burning of any creature, even animals," said Adayleh, whose group is currently witnessing strained relations with authorities.

    Also government controlled national centre for human rights described the killing as "war crime." Hours after Kassasbeh was announced killed, two al Qaidha convicts were executed south the capital, a female and a male in a swift tit for tat response.

    The coming days are expected to see more polarization for the public as the US and allies prepare for a major battle to flush out IS from major Iraqi provinces and cities as well as attacks from town of Kubani north Syria.

    Amman provides a crucial support to the allied forces, relying on outreach of its intelligence tools and its wide borders with Iraq and Syria.

    Salafi activists and other human rights pundits are concerned that authorities in Amman would use the event to tighten human rights and use the killing as a pretext to clamp down on the opposition.

    Widening crackdown on Islamists and other opposition groups has been rising in the kingdom over the past months, with dozens being imprisoned without bail on offences related to the controversial anti-terrorism law. (ANSAmed).

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