The Jordanian government announced Wednesday that they have agreed to release prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for the release of Moaz al-Kasasbeh, the 24-year-old lieutenant captured by ISIS last month. Al-Rishawi has been imprisoned since 2005 for her involvement in the al Qaeda attack on Amman that left 60 people dead.
The proposed trade is in response to a new video purportedly uploaded online by ISIS on Tuesday. In the video, captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto delivers a 24-hour deadline for al-Rishawi's release, or Goto and al-Kasasbeh will be killed.
"I only have 24 hours left to live, and the pilot has even less," Goto says in the video, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. "Any more delays by the Jordanian government will mean they're responsible for the death of their pilot, which will then be followed by mine."
Al-Kaseasbeh's F-16 was shot down last December near Raqqa, Syria—where ISIS has long based their operations—and taken captive by the militants. His plane was part of the U.S.-led airstrike campaign on ISIS targets in and around Syria. Al-Rishawi was among four suicide bombers who attacked three hotels in Amman in 2005; her vest rigged with explosives failed to detonate, and she was eventually captured, convicted, and sentenced to death.
Bassam al-Manaseer, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Jordanian parliament, told Bloomberg News that the country is in "indirect negotiations" with ISIS, through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq, to have Goto and al-Kassasbeh freed.
"Who is Sajida to us?" Moaz's father, Youssef, said at a demonstration in support of his son Wednesday. "Sajida is a burden on us, let them release her. I am asking for the release of Sajida and all the prisoners, and the return of Moaz to us. Keeping her in prison is a burden on us.
[Image via AP]