ISIS' Demand for Woman's Release Seen as Propaganda

The latest demand by ISIS that a failed female suicide bomber be released is a reminder of the group's ties to al-Qaida in Iraq — but the request may be nothing more than a propaganda ploy, an expert told NBC News. Sajida al-Rishawi, whose explosives failed to detonate during a 2005 attack on a hotel in Jordan, is the sister of a top commander under the former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also served as a lieutenant under Zarqawi. ISIS on Saturday released a video claiming it executed one of two Japanese hostages it had threatened, and, in the video, said it now wanted the release of al-Rishawi — instead of its previously-demanded ransom of $200 million - or it will execute its second captive. Karima Bennoune, professor of international law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, said family and organizational links may be significant, "however, it is also likely that ISIS has sought to switch its ransom demands for propaganda purposes, to position itself — wrongly — as a defender of Muslim women."

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