Sajida al-Rishawi

Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi (Arabic: ساجدة مبارك عطروس الريشاوي c. 1970 – 4 February 2015) was a failed suicide bomber. She was convicted of possessing explosives and intending to commit a terrorist act in the 9 November 2005 Amman bombings in Jordan that killed 60 people and injured 115 others, having survived when her explosive belt failed to detonate. Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for the triple bombings that simultaneously hit three nearby hotels, and said they carried out the attack because the hotels were "a secure place for the filthy Israeli and Western tourists to spread corruption and adultery at the expense and suffering of the Muslims in these countries."[1]

Sajida al-Rishawi
Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi

Died4 February 2015(2015-02-04) (aged 44–45)
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
OccupationSuicide bomber
Known forAttempted suicide bombing in the 2005 Amman bombings
SpouseAli Hussein Ali al-Shamari

Background and Amman bombingsEdit

Al-Rishawi and her husband Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari are thought to have been Iraqi citizens and had Iraqi accents. According to her confession they traveled into Jordan about five days before the bombings on forged passports. She, along with her husband, entered the Amman Radisson Hotel ballroom during a wedding. When she had trouble detonating her suicide belt her husband pushed her out of the room[citation needed] before detonating a bomb that killed 38 people.

Court proceedingsEdit

Al-Rishawi was later captured by Jordanian authorities and confessed on national television. She was shown making a filmed confession with an apparent suicide bomb device around her and a detonator in hand showing that the device failed to explode, but later retracted her confession.[2]

She was convicted of possessing explosives and intending to commit a terrorist attack, and sentenced to death by hanging by a Jordanian military court on 21 September 2006.[2] She appealed this conviction but her appeal was dismissed in January 2007.[3][4] At the time of her execution, she was still engaged in the process of appeal of her sentence.[5]


Al-Rishawi was reportedly the sister of a former close aide of deceased al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,[6] named by some reports as Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, who was killed by US forces in Iraq.[7]

On 24 January 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) offered to trade Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and spare Royal Jordanian Air Force Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh for Sajida al-Rishawi.[8] Jordan put forward the option of exchanging al-Rishawi for al-Kasasbeh.[9] The proposed exchange did not go further because ISIL failed to give plausible proof of al-Kasasbeh being alive; Goto was beheaded in late January 2015 and ISIL released video footage in early February 2015 of al-Kasasbeh being burned alive, although Jordanian intelligence officials reported his killing took place in early January 2015.[10]


Al-Rishawi and Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly were executed by hanging in the morning of 4 February 2015, which was expedited in retaliation for the burning death of al-Kasasbeh by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Three Hotels in Amman Attacked by Suicide Bombers". OODA LLC. 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 29 January 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Failed Amman hotel bomber to hang". BBC News. BBC. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Jordan upholds death penalty for the failed female suicide bomber". People's Daily. Amman, Jordan. 28 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  4. ^ The Associated Press (28 January 2007). "Would-be bomber to face execution in Jordan". Seattle Times. Amman, Jordan: The Seattle Times Company. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Jordan convicts 10 on terrorism charges". Telegraph Media Group Limited. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  6. ^ The Associated Press (12 November 2005). "Jordan: Female bomber is sister of top Al-Qaida figure in Iraq". Haaretz. Amman, Jordan. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  7. ^ Sabin, Lamiat (24 January 2015). "Who is Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, the female suicide bomber at the heart of 'Isis' Japanese prisoner swap plan?". The Independent. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  8. ^ Hanna, Jason (27 January 2015). "New apparent ISIS post threatens Japanese hostage, Jordanian pilot". Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  9. ^ Smith-Spark, Laura; Martinez, Michael (4 February 2015). "Who was Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, killed by ISIS?". Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  10. ^ Michaels, Jim; Bacon, John (3 February 2015). "Jordan executes two in response to pilot's slaying". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Jordan Executes Two Prisoners to Avenge ISIS Murder of Pilot". NBC News. NBC Universal. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2019.

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