Jordan vows revenge, but solidarity, after grisly pilot murder

Published February 4th, 2015 - 18:51 GMT

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Daesh released a video featuring the grisly murder of Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh Tuesday evening, ending a weeklong government standoff with the militants and two months of waiting for the Kasasbeh family.

First appearing on Daesh-affiliated social media accounts, The 22-minute video was removed from YouTube within an hour of its release, but not before it was circulated throughout the Middle East — especially in Jordan.

In a huge departure from past execution videos previously seen from the group, the ultra-produced clip featured a lot more than the execution.  Continue reading below »

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Around 100 proud Jordanians lined the streets near Amman’s Queen Alia Airport,  awaiting the return of King Abdullah from the United States.
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Image 1 of 11:  1 / 11Around 100 proud Jordanians lined the streets near Amman’s Queen Alia Airport, awaiting the return of King Abdullah from the United States.

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The biggest traffic roundabout in the Jordanian city of Zarqa was named after Muath today. Expect many roads and buildings to follow suit in tribute to the fallen pilot.
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Image 2 of 11:  2 / 11The biggest traffic roundabout in the Jordanian city of Zarqa was named after Muath today. Expect many roads and buildings to follow suit in tribute to the fallen pilot.

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Morning prayers were offered from both churches and mosques across Jordan for the Kasasbeh family. Local Christian leaders have visited Kasabeh’s father since the beginning of the crisis in December.
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Image 3 of 11:  3 / 11Morning prayers were offered from both churches and mosques across Jordan for the Kasasbeh family. Local Christian leaders have visited Kasabeh’s father since the beginning of the crisis in December.

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Safi Kasasbeh welcomed the hanging of two Iraqi militants. While his call for revenge was still heard loud and clear, the message was not one of dissent from the kingdom, or its Royal Family.
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Image 4 of 11:  4 / 11Safi Kasasbeh welcomed the hanging of two Iraqi militants. While his call for revenge was still heard loud and clear, the message was not one of dissent from the kingdom, or its Royal Family.

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Jordanian Salafist-jihadist leader Abu Sayyaf, a prominent and frequently hardline cleric, condemned the Kasasbeh murder, joining a growing list of Muslim leaders attacking the group’s brutal antics.
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Image 5 of 11:  5 / 11Jordanian Salafist-jihadist leader Abu Sayyaf, a prominent and frequently hardline cleric, condemned the Kasasbeh murder, joining a growing list of Muslim leaders attacking the group’s brutal antics.

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Solidarity with Kasasbeh spans beyond Jordan, too. In Syria’s Kobane, Kurdish fighters named the fallen pilot a national hero, and offered Jordanians help in seeking revenge. In Gaza, shows of solidarity rang loud with similar street demonstrations.
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Image 6 of 11:  6 / 11Solidarity with Kasasbeh spans beyond Jordan, too. In Syria’s Kobane, Kurdish fighters named the fallen pilot a national hero, and offered Jordanians help in seeking revenge. In Gaza, shows of solidarity rang loud with similar street demonstrations.

Enlarge
Kasasbeh’s brother Jawdat said on Jordanian state television Wednesday morning he will be the first to join the army in a fight against Daesh. However, he also called for people to act responsibly in Jordan, making clear the family doesn’t want instability or violence in the country.
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Image 7 of 11:  7 / 11Kasasbeh’s brother Jawdat said on Jordanian state television Wednesday morning he will be the first to join the army in a fight against Daesh. However, he also called for people to act responsibly in Jordan, making clear the family doesn’t want instability or violence in the country.

Enlarge
Nevertheless, while many called for solidarity, cries for “earth shattering” revenge were just as loud. In Amman Tuesday night, fellow Jordanian pilots called on King Abdullah to “open the borders” to Syria and allow them to avenge his death with their own hands.
Reduce

Image 8 of 11:  8 / 11Nevertheless, while many called for solidarity, cries for “earth shattering” revenge were just as loud. In Amman Tuesday night, fellow Jordanian pilots called on King Abdullah to “open the borders” to Syria and allow them to avenge his death with their own hands.

Enlarge
Prominent Jordanian businessman Hani W. Asfar sent out a Facebook post Wednesday offering a JD100,000 bounty for ISIS caliphate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and JD1 million to anyone who could bring him to Jordan alive.
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Image 9 of 11:  9 / 11Prominent Jordanian businessman Hani W. Asfar sent out a Facebook post Wednesday offering a JD100,000 bounty for ISIS caliphate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and JD1 million to anyone who could bring him to Jordan alive.

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However, not all Jordanians are rising up in support. Tuesday night’s demonstrations brought mixed reactions in the capital Amman, with some tribal leaders still voicing distaste for Jordan’s role in the coalition. Kasasbeh’s father was quoted on Arabic media last week saying the war in Syria was “not our fight.”
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Image 10 of 11:  10 / 11However, not all Jordanians are rising up in support. Tuesday night’s demonstrations brought mixed reactions in the capital Amman, with some tribal leaders still voicing distaste for Jordan’s role in the coalition. Kasasbeh’s father was quoted on Arabic media last week saying the war in Syria was “not our fight.”

Enlarge
Dissent regarding the international coalition is nothing new. Jordan saw a lot of the Kasasbehs in recent weeks amid international negotiations, but it comes after a long media silence. Some speculate it could be due to negative comments about the coalition when their son was first captured. Now that he’s gone, it’s hard to say what’s next.
Reduce

Image 11 of 11:  11 / 11Dissent regarding the international coalition is nothing new. Jordan saw a lot of the Kasasbehs in recent weeks amid international negotiations, but it comes after a long media silence. Some speculate it could be due to negative comments about the coalition when their son was first captured. Now that he’s gone, it’s hard to say what’s next.

Enlarge

1

Around 100 proud Jordanians lined the streets near Amman’s Queen Alia Airport,  awaiting the return of King Abdullah from the United States.

Image 1 of 11Around 100 proud Jordanians lined the streets near Amman’s Queen Alia Airport, awaiting the return of King Abdullah from the United States.

2

The biggest traffic roundabout in the Jordanian city of Zarqa was named after Muath today. Expect many roads and buildings to follow suit in tribute to the fallen pilot.

Image 2 of 11The biggest traffic roundabout in the Jordanian city of Zarqa was named after Muath today. Expect many roads and buildings to follow suit in tribute to the fallen pilot.

3

Morning prayers were offered from both churches and mosques across Jordan for the Kasasbeh family. Local Christian leaders have visited Kasabeh’s father since the beginning of the crisis in December.

Image 3 of 11Morning prayers were offered from both churches and mosques across Jordan for the Kasasbeh family. Local Christian leaders have visited Kasabeh’s father since the beginning of the crisis in December.

4

Safi Kasasbeh welcomed the hanging of two Iraqi militants. While his call for revenge was still heard loud and clear, the message was not one of dissent from the kingdom, or its Royal Family.

Image 4 of 11Safi Kasasbeh welcomed the hanging of two Iraqi militants. While his call for revenge was still heard loud and clear, the message was not one of dissent from the kingdom, or its Royal Family.

5

Jordanian Salafist-jihadist leader Abu Sayyaf, a prominent and frequently hardline cleric, condemned the Kasasbeh murder, joining a growing list of Muslim leaders attacking the group’s brutal antics.

Image 5 of 11Jordanian Salafist-jihadist leader Abu Sayyaf, a prominent and frequently hardline cleric, condemned the Kasasbeh murder, joining a growing list of Muslim leaders attacking the group’s brutal antics.

6

Solidarity with Kasasbeh spans beyond Jordan, too. In Syria’s Kobane, Kurdish fighters named the fallen pilot a national hero, and offered Jordanians help in seeking revenge. In Gaza, shows of solidarity rang loud with similar street demonstrations.

Image 6 of 11Solidarity with Kasasbeh spans beyond Jordan, too. In Syria’s Kobane, Kurdish fighters named the fallen pilot a national hero, and offered Jordanians help in seeking revenge. In Gaza, shows of solidarity rang loud with similar street demonstrations.

7

Kasasbeh’s brother Jawdat said on Jordanian state television Wednesday morning he will be the first to join the army in a fight against Daesh. However, he also called for people to act responsibly in Jordan, making clear the family doesn’t want instability or violence in the country.

Image 7 of 11Kasasbeh’s brother Jawdat said on Jordanian state television Wednesday morning he will be the first to join the army in a fight against Daesh. However, he also called for people to act responsibly in Jordan, making clear the family doesn’t want instability or violence in the country.

8

Nevertheless, while many called for solidarity, cries for “earth shattering” revenge were just as loud. In Amman Tuesday night, fellow Jordanian pilots called on King Abdullah to “open the borders” to Syria and allow them to avenge his death with their own hands.

Image 8 of 11Nevertheless, while many called for solidarity, cries for “earth shattering” revenge were just as loud. In Amman Tuesday night, fellow Jordanian pilots called on King Abdullah to “open the borders” to Syria and allow them to avenge his death with their own hands.

9

Prominent Jordanian businessman Hani W. Asfar sent out a Facebook post Wednesday offering a JD100,000 bounty for ISIS caliphate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and JD1 million to anyone who could bring him to Jordan alive.

Image 9 of 11Prominent Jordanian businessman Hani W. Asfar sent out a Facebook post Wednesday offering a JD100,000 bounty for ISIS caliphate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and JD1 million to anyone who could bring him to Jordan alive.

10

However, not all Jordanians are rising up in support. Tuesday night’s demonstrations brought mixed reactions in the capital Amman, with some tribal leaders still voicing distaste for Jordan’s role in the coalition. Kasasbeh’s father was quoted on Arabic media last week saying the war in Syria was “not our fight.”

Image 10 of 11However, not all Jordanians are rising up in support. Tuesday night’s demonstrations brought mixed reactions in the capital Amman, with some tribal leaders still voicing distaste for Jordan’s role in the coalition. Kasasbeh’s father was quoted on Arabic media last week saying the war in Syria was “not our fight.”

11

Dissent regarding the international coalition is nothing new. Jordan saw a lot of the Kasasbehs in recent weeks amid international negotiations, but it comes after a long media silence. Some speculate it could be due to negative comments about the coalition when their son was first captured. Now that he’s gone, it’s hard to say what’s next.

Image 11 of 11Dissent regarding the international coalition is nothing new. Jordan saw a lot of the Kasasbehs in recent weeks amid international negotiations, but it comes after a long media silence. Some speculate it could be due to negative comments about the coalition when their son was first captured. Now that he’s gone, it’s hard to say what’s next.

Reduce

The names, photos and addresses of around 70 Jordanian pilots were revealed, with a prompting from the Islamic State for sleeper cells inside Jordan to carry out attacks on the military personnel presented.

Twenty-four hours later, the entire region is reacting.

King Abdullah II cut short his state visit to the United States and returned to Amman Wednesday morning, where around 100 Jordanians greeted him at Queen Alia International Airport waving Jordanian flags and crying out for further revenge.

Meanwhile, Jordan announced plans to ramp up its involvement in the international coalition against Daesh. Throughout the kingdom was the overwhelming sense of tragedy, shock and a need for revenge.

What it did not produce, at large, was a shying away from the fight against the militants. Instead, many Jordanians called for a harder push.

Months of media calls for Muslim leadership to speak out louder against the shock-tactic militants are finally being drowned out by an umbrella denunciation of the group. Analysts have suggested that their ultra-extremist moves were designed to undermine King Abdullah II by turning popular opinion in Jordan against the military campaign.

This is a turning point for Jordan and the entire Middle East. Here’s what it looks like, 24 hours later.

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