Jordan to execute jailed would-be bomber, jihadists

Image grab from Jordanian TV shows Iraqi Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, 35, who accompanied her husband on a suicide mission to the Radisson Hotel and failed to detonate her explosive belt, on November 13, 2005 (AFP Photo/)

Amman (AFP) - Jordan will execute Wednesday an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row and other jihadists after having vowed to avenge the murder of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State jihadists, an official said.

"The sentence of death pending on... Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi will be carried out at dawn," the security official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rishawi, the would-be bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and IS had offered to spare the life of the Jordanian fighter pilot, Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, if she were released.

"The death sentence will be carried out on a group of jihadists, starting with Rishawi, as well as Iraqi Al-Qaeda operative Ziad Karbuli and others who attacked Jordan's interests," the security source said.

"Jordan's response will be earth-shattering," Information Minister Mohammed Momani said earlier on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot's murder.

"Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong," said Momani, who is also government spokesman.

"The pilot did not belong to a specific tribe or come from a specific governorate, he was the son of all Jordanians, who stand united," he said.

State television also reported that King Abdullah II of Jordan would cut short a visit to Washington and return home in the wake of the pilot's murder.

The king had held talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Tuesday before going into a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill.

One of America's most stalwart allies in the Middle East, Jordan is taking part in US-led air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria along with several other Arab countries.