ISIS kills Jordanian pilot, declares U.S. citizen dead

Lauren Candela, Staff Writer

On Feb. 3, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria released horrific pictures and a video of Jordanian fighter pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive inside a cage.

The murder is described as the group’s most gruesome yet, according to the New York Times.

Arab nations united for the first time in a long time in the sense that they could agree on one thing: ISIS has gone too far.  Jordan responded quickly and most severely that evening by executing attempted suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and Siad al-Karbouli, a head lieutenant of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Both terrorists had already been sentenced to execution in 2005 for killing more than 57 people, according to the New York Times and Petra.

Jordan also retaliated by bombing Syria.  However, their response backfired as the Islamic State announced an American hostage, Kayla Mueller, had been killed unintentionally.

ISIS claimed the building she was being held in collapsed under a Jordanian airstrike.

“The failed Jordanian aircraft killed an American female hostage.  No mujahid [fighter] was injured in the bombardment, and all praise is due to Allah,” said a message from ISIS.

While there is no way to uphold the group’s claim with complete certainty, ISIS identified her and gave her address for the first time since her capture in 2013, according to the New York Times.

Mohamad Momani, Jordan’s information minister explained his skepticism, “How could they identify Jordanian warplanes from a huge distance in the sky? What was the American lady doing in a weapons warehouse?”

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama evaluated the American stance on ISIS.

He explained that the United States will meet the terrorist group with “strength and resolve.”  He elaborated on the use of force without American troops on the ground.

The President hopes to aid Iraqi airstrikes with American ones and said he would not hesitate to move into Syria if a terrorist threat there becomes present.

Obama also promised to send an additional 475 service members to Iraq to train Iraqi militants.

President Obama affirmed, “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”