Jordan caved to the hostage threat by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Wednesday, agreeing to swap a convicted terrorist for its pilot, held captive by ISIS.
A second hostage being held with the Jordanian, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, is still in captivity. There is no word on his status.
The deal came just minutes before the deadline was reached to execute Muaz al-Kasazbeh. “Jordan confirms that it is completely prepared to release the prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi if Muaz al-Kasazbeh is released intact,” read a statement from Amman, The New York Times reported early Wednesday.
Rishawi helped murder 60 people in an attack on three hotels in Amman with three other suicide bombers. Her explosives vest failed to detonate, however, allowing her to be captured and sentenced to death for the slaughter.
The deal was arranged in response to a massive demonstration against the Jordanian government that began Tuesday evening and continued into Wednesday morning. The pilot’s father also pleaded with King Abdullah II of Jordan to swap the terrorist for his son. “Who is Sajida to us? Sajida is a burden on us, let them release her,” he said during the demonstration.