Female Iraqi militant held by Jordan is heroine to jihadists

February 2, 2015 5:47 PM

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AMMAN/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - When her husband blew himself up in a luxury hotel during a wedding in Amman a decade ago, Sajida al-Rishawi was meant to die too, but her suicide bomb belt did not go off. Today, as a death-row prisoner in Jordan, she is a heroine to jihadists in the region, who may be willing to swap a Jordanian pilot for her.

Rishawi, now in her mid-40s, has an influential background in militant circles: she hails from a powerful Sunni clan in Western Iraq, and her brother was a top lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al Qaeda's Iraq branch. Today, that group has since transformed itself into Islamic State...

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