A prominent jihadi preacher lashed out Friday against Islamic State militants for burning to death a Jordanian pilot, saying the action was, “not acceptable in any religion.” Abu Mohammed al-Maqdesi, considered a spiritual mentor for many al-Qaeda militants, spoke a day
after being released from more than three months in detention in Jordan.
The cleric indicated that he had been involved in back-channel talks to arrange a possible prisoner swap to win the release of the pilot, who was captured after his plane crashed over Syria in December. Al-Maqdesi said he believed the militants were never serious about arranging a swap. “During my communication, they lied and they were evasive,” he said. “They acted like they were interested (in a swap), but in fact they were not interested.”