As promised by Jordanian officials Tuesday night, initial punishment for the barbaric murder of its pilot was swift.
Two Al Qaeda prisoners on death row were executed by hanging at dawn on Wednesday, their bodies driven away in ambulances shortly after.
The speed of the response and its efficient directness is a message the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cannot ignore. It is a universal language understood in both Islam and the Arab world – and one that Israel and the Western world would do well to learn and emulate. Immediately.
Releasing terrorists from Gitmo back to their home countries – or neighboring countries – where they can simply repeat the same slaughter or worse, is ridiculous. Releasing convicted terrorists in prisoner exchanges, allowing them to return to their evil ways and worse, to teach those skills to others and organize political movements is stupid.
This writer salutes Israel’s decision to empower the Israel Defense Forces to teach officers to launch the Hannibal Protocol whenever necessary to prevent that from ever happening again. Israel should look closely at how Jordan is dealing with terrorists when attacks are aimed at its own country and study that response.
There should be no negotiations with any terrorists ever by anyone because terrorists do not negotiate in good faith. If there is no takeaway this week from any other news piece, let this bit of education at least be learned by the world’s population. Terrorists lie. They can never be trusted.
Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi female whose freedom was sought in negotiations with Jordan by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was awaiting execution on death row in the kingdom for her role in a triple 2005 suicide bombing at a hotel that killed 60 people.
Ziyad al-Karbouly, a senior Iraqi Al Qaeda operative convicted in 2008 for killing a Jordanian, also was sentenced to death for plotting to attack the Hashemite Kingdom, said government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani.
Jordan, to its eternal credit, executed both Wednesday at dawn at the Swaqa prison, some 50 miles south of Amman.
Family members of the pilot and their supporters gathered in the darkness at the Karak district tribal gathering chamber, in Muath al-Kasaesbeh’s hometown of Ai, following the news of their hero’s death in flames.
“We will avenge, we will avenge the blood of our son!” dozens of protesters chanted as they marched towards the palace waving a Jordanian flag following the announcement of the pilot’s killing.
The especially barbaric manner in which the pilot was murdered outraged not only Jordanians but also people around the world, drawing condemnation from international leaders as well.
The Jordanian government had negotiated with ISIS in good faith over the past week in response to an officer to exchange 26-year-old captive pilot for al-Rishawi, but had insisted first on proof that the pilot was still alive. ISIS had not provided the evidence and Jordan was unwilling to release the terrorist without it.
ISIS subsequently admitted in the announcement with its execution video of the pilot on Tuesday that he had been killed as long ago as January 3. That was only 10 days from the time of his capture when he had been forced to eject from his F-16 fighter jet, which crashed in a lake in northeastern Syria. Al-Kasaesbeh was the first Jordanian pilot to be captured while flying in the U.S.-led bombing raids against ISIS.
“Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians,” vowed Jordanian army spokesman Mamdouh al-Ameri upon hearing the news. King Abdullah told his nation to unite in the face of the ISIS threat in a brief address Tuesday night on national television. “It’s the duty of all of us to stand united and show the real values of Jordanians in the face of these hardships,” he said. The monarch took the time for a quick meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House and then cut short his visit to the United States and flew directly back to Amman.
Hana Levi Julian