Amman/Beirut, Feb 4:
Jordanian authorities executed two convicted terrorists at dawn Wednesday, a day after the Islamic State (IS) released a video showing Jordanian air force pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive, even as the radical Sunni group justified its dastardly act.
The execution of Sajidah al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouly, both convicted terrorists, took place at Suwaqa prison, 43 miles south of the Jordanian capital, Amman, security sources told Efe news agency.
Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death for her role in the 2005 bombings of three Jordanian five-star hotels, resulting in the death of at least 60 people and injuries to more than 200.
Her explosives belt failed to detonate and she was arrested after the bombings in which her husband took part and was killed when he detonated the explosives he was carrying.
Al-Karbouly, a former aide to Al Qaeda terrorist organisation leader Abu Musab al-Zarkawi who died during a US raid in Iraq in 2006, was sentenced to death on charges of killing a Jordanian driver in Iraq.
Jordanian air force pilot al-Kassasbeh, 26, was captured by the IS in December when his fighter plane crashed while taking part in US-led coalition airstrikes against the jihadis in Syria.
The pilot’s father has demanded a harsh and swift revenge for his son’s murder from Jordan.
Safi al-Kasasbeh said the execution of two Al Qaeda linked prisoners that followed his son’s deaths was not sufficient, Al Jazeera reported.
“I demand none of them amongst us be kept alive. I demand the revenge be greater than executing prisoners. I demand the IS organisation be annihilated,” Safi al-Kassasbeh said.
“This murderous organisation, made up of militants from all the world countries, is acting in barbaric ways, violating all the international laws, codes of ethics, and prisoners’ conventions. That is why I strongly demand the government to swiftly take revenge for the blood of Moaz and the dignity of our country.”
Meanwhile, according to a report from Beirut, the IS Wednesday described its burning alive of al-Kasasbeh a religiously sanctioned “eye for an eye” retaliation for the bombing of its forces.
In a statement dated Jan 20 but posted Wednesday on a social networking site operated by IS sympathisers, the group claimed the burning was justified under the Islamic practice of “mumazala”, Efe reported.
This practice calls for revenge employing similar punishment for misdeeds.
According to the note, it was decided to burn al-Kasasbeh alive because he had taken part in the US-led coalition bombing of the IS in Syria and Iraq which often cause fires.
The statement was signed by the group’s office for investigation and fatwas, or religious edicts.
The killing of the pilot also immediately drew condemnation from countries in the region, Xinhua news agency reported.
Syria’s foreign ministry Wednesday condemned the execution of al-Kassasbeh.
The ministry branded the incident as a “heinous crime,” urging the Jordanian authorities for cooperation in fighting the terrorist groups such as the IS or the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on his official Twitter account that “I strongly condemn the barbaric murder of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh”.
Iran’s foreign ministry Wednesday also condemned what it called the “savage” murder of the Jordanian pilot by the IS group.
The murder of the pilot was an inhuman act which did not abide by any Islamic codes, Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said.
In Turkey, a written statement by the country’s foreign ministry Wednesday said “We have learned with great sadness that lieutenant pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh was murdered by the terrorist organisation Daesh (the Arabic initials of the IS)”.
“We condemn vehemently this felonious action which does not comply with any humanitarian value,” the ministry said.
After the murder of the pilot by the IS, King Abdullah II of Jordan Tuesday called for unity in an address broadcast by Jordan TV.
“We received with great sadness and anger the news about the killing of the pilot on the hands of the stray criminals of IS who has nothing to do with Islam,” he said.
The king said the pilot “dies defending his religion, country and nation”, adding that “it is the duty of all to be united at this difficult times, which will only make us stronger”. IANS