Jordan Takes Revenge Ahead of King's Return Home

Jordanians are furious over pilot's death, vow renewed fight.

ByABC News
February 4, 2015, 6:12 AM

—AMMAN -- Jordan awoke Wednesday to the news that two Iraqi jihadists affiliated with Al Qaeda had been hanged, a means of avenging the earlier Islamic State release of gruesome video showing pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh burning alive.

Government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said Wednesday that Sajida al-Rishawi, 44, and Zayaad al-Karbouli were executed at 4 a.m. local time at the country's Swaqa Prison.

Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber convicted for her role in 2005 hotel attacks in Amman, has been on death row since 2006, and Karbouli, the more senior of the two, has been on death row since 2007.

Jordan had offered to release Rishawi as part of a prisoner swap to save the pilot's life, but the deal fell through.

Newspapers across Jordan featured strong language splashed across their front pages. Jordan's Al Ghad newspaper carried the headline: "We will take our revenge."

For Jordanians, involvement in the US-led coalition against ISIS has been controversial - but Wednesday, the country was united in its outrage.

King Abdullah cut his visit to the U.S. short and will arrive back in Amman Wednesday afternoon to great fanfare. Supporters of the king swarmed the airport Wednesday morning in anticipation of his arrival.

ABC News' Nasser Atta reported from Amman. ABC News' Molly Hunter reported from Jerusalem.