THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
November 12
The Guardian

Jordan a Target Because of Links to U.S.

by Jamal Halaby

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Squeezed in a precarious corner in the volatile Mideast, tightly secured Jordan enjoyed a kind of calm its blood-soaked neighbors Israel and Iraq could only dream of. But this week's triple hotel bombings in Amman shattered that illusion.

Perhaps most surprising is that such attacks have not happened before, because Jordan presents any number of reasons why al-Qaida in Iraq might single it out as a target.

Jordan has been a key backstage support for U.S. and other international operations during the Iraq war. For the past several years, it has carried out a crackdown on Islamic militants - including members of al-Qaida in Iraq. It is a longtime U.S. ally, it signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, and its King Abdullah II has been a vocal proponent of religious moderation.

Moreover, al-Qaida in Iraq's leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is Jordanian and has spent time in the country's prisons.

Al-Qaida in Iraq said it attacked three Western-operated hotels Wednesday because Jordan was "a backyard garden for the enemies of the religion, Jews and Crusaders ... a filthy place for the traitors ... and a center for prostitution."

Its Internet claim said the attacks put Washington on notice that the "camp for the Crusader army is now in the range of fire of the holy warriors." . . .

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Hassan M. Fattah and Michael Slackman, "3 Hotels Bombed in Jordan; At Least 57 Die," New York Times, November 10, 2005

[Within minutes an explosive device said to be hidden in a false ceiling at the SAS Radisson hotel blew up,--Tim Butcher, "Suicide bombers hit hotels in Jordan's capital," Telegraph, November 11, 2005]

[In the warm night of early November, while the body count soared and the Middle East was confronted with its own 9/11, the world came again face to face with the myth of the new global terror leader: Zarqawi. . . .

But it was on Feb. 5, 2003, when Colin Powell described him to the UN Security Council as the fictitious link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, that Zarqawi achieved global stardom. Since then, his myth has grown exponentially in both the West and the East.--Loretta Napoleoni, "The Myth of Zarqawi," antiwar.com, November 11, 2005]

Marie Colvin and Uzi Mahnaimi, " Jordanian soldiers seduced by Al-Qaeda 'aided' suicide attacks," Sunday Times, November 13, 2005

Hassan M. Fattah, "Jordan Arrests Iraqi Woman in Hotel Blasts," New York Times, November 14, 2005

Elias Akleh, "Did Al-Zarqawi Really Bomb Amman?," arab2000.net, November 14, 2005

Kurt Nimmo, "Amman Bombings: More Suspicious Details," kurtnimmo.com, November 15, 2005

[Iraqi woman who confessed to taking part in a suicide bombing operation against Amman hotels has told them three of her brothers were killed by US forces in Iraq.--"Would-be bomber lost three kin in Iraq," Jang, November 16, 2005]

Michael Howard, "Zarqawi's family disown him after bombings," Guardian, November 21, 2005

[I can't help but remember . . . the degree to which the French army kept announcing, between 54 and 62, that the killing or destruction or liquidation of FLN leaders meant that there was a severe blow to the terrorist campaign against the French in Algeria. And each time, the terrorist campaign, or the war of independence, or whatever you like to call it, just continued as it did before.--Robert Fisk, "Will Al-Zarqawi's Death Fuel the Insurgency or Diminish It?," democracynow.org, June 8, 2006]

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