Jordan Agrees to Prisoner Swap With ISIS
It appears that Jordan has agreed to a prisoner swap with ISIS.
Jordan will release convicted terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian Air Force pilot captured by the terror group in Syria a month ago, according to a statement released on Jordanian state TV.
The agreement comes just before a deadline set by ISIS terrorists, who threatened to kill al-Kaseasbeh and a Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto, if the deadline was not met.
The statement did not mention if Goto is also a part of the deal.
John Huddy reported on "America's Newsroom" that this prisoner swap is contrary to Jordan's - and the United States' - approach of not negotiating with terrorists.
Huddy explained that an image and audio message released by ISIS Tuesday tied Goto's fate to that of al-Rishawi.
In the message, which was posted online, Goto was shown holding a picture of al-Kaseasbeh, with both men's lives threatened if Jordan did not meet the terror group's demands.
"The question is whether ISIS will be willing to do the swap," Huddy reported. "We haven't heard from the militants yet and even if the two men at this point are still alive."
Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack by Al Qaeda on hotels in Amman that killed 60 people. Jordan is reportedly in indirect talks with the militants through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq to secure the hostages' release. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of Jordan's parliament, Bassam Al-Manasseer, has been quoted as saying that Jordan and Japan would not negotiate directly with the Islamic State group and would not free al-Rishawi for the Japanese hostage only.
Earlier Wednesday, the mother of the Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto, appealed publicly to Japan's premier to save her son. The mother, Junko Ishido, read to reporters her plea to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which she said she sent after both Abe and Japan's main government spokesman declined to meet with her.
"Please save Kenji's life," Ishido said, begging Abe to work with the Jordanian government until the very end to try to save Goto.
"Kenji has only a little time left," she said.
The Jordanian government is under growing pressure at home to win the release of the pilot, with his father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, pleading with Jordan "to meet the demands" of the Islamic State group.
"All people must know, from the head of the regime to everybody else, that the safety of Mu'ath means the stability of Jordan, and the death of Mu'ath means chaos in Jordan," he told The Associated Press as about 200 of the pilot's relatives protested outside the prime minister's office in Amman, chanting anti-government slogans and urging that it meet the captors' demands.
Watch the clip above.