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IS Changes Tactics on Japanese Hostage, Offers Swap Deal for Suicide Bomber

Sputnik News

17:36 25.01.2015(updated 18:33 25.01.2015)

New video posted online shows Japanese hostage Kenji Goto asking the Japanese government to cooperate with IS to free Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi to spare him his life.

MOSCOW, January 25 (Sputnik) – The Islamic State has demanded the release of Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber detained in Jordan since 2005, in a swap deal for Japanese hostage Kenji Goto Jogo, in a change of tactic from previous ransom demands.

'Their demand is easier, they are being fair. They no longer want money. So, you don't need to worry about funding terrorists. They are just demanding the release of their imprisoned sister, Sajida al-Rishawi. It is simple. You give them Sajida, and I will be released,' said Goto in a 2.52 minute audio recording, preceded by the words 'this message was received by the family of Kenji Goto Jogo and the government of Japan.'

Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi has been held by Jordanian authorities since 2005, after she took part in a string of suicide bombings on hotels in Jordan which killed 57 people and three suicide bombers. In a televised confession made in Jordan the same year, the then 35-year-old said that her husband, Hussein Ali al-Shamari, organized the attack the pair carried out on the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman, in which 37 people died. "In Jordan we rented a flat. He had two explosive belts. He put one on me and he wore one himself and showed me how to use it. He said we are attacking hotels in Jordan," the BBC reported al-Rishawi said in the broadcast.

She added that the couple arrived in Jordan from Iraq on forged passports four days prior to the bombing, which they carried out on a wedding reception held in the hotel's ballroom. "He [my husband] took one corner and I took another. There was a wedding in the hotel. There were women and children," she said. 'My husband executed the attack. I tried to detonate and it failed," al-Rishawi explained, according to the BBC. 'I left. People started running and I started running with them.'

Then Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan, Marwan Muasher, revealed that al-Rishawi has other family ties to religious militancy. The AP reported the politician stated that the woman's brother, Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, who was killed in Fallujah, had served as a lieutenant to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Following the confession of involvement in the bombings, one of the most deadly bomb attacks carried out on Jordanian soil, al-Rishawi was sentenced to death by hanging in a Jordanian military court in September 2006. Al-Rishawi later unsuccessfully appealed her sentence, arguing that her earlier confession had been given under duress.


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